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Berkshire Food Co-op is one of three regional finalists to receive an Economic Impact Award from MassEcon.

Biz Briefs: Berkshire Food Co-op One of Three Finalists for MassEcon Award

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Economic Impact Award

Berkshire Food Co-op is one of three regional finalists to receive an Economic Impact Award from MassEcon. On Sept. 19, finalists will present one-minute pitches to a panel of judges and business leaders describing their growth in the commonwealth. Finalists compete on a regional basis in the West, Central, Southeast, Northeast and Great Boston areas. The winners from each of the five regions will be announced in October.

"Our mission has always been to support the health and well-being of our community and this expansion was a massive investment in that mission. This recognition from MassEcon represents a sweet moment for us, even as we continue the work of keeping our Co-op a vibrant and sustainable hub for community in Southern Berkshire County," said Troy Bond, the co-op's general manager.

The co-op's recent expansion was partially funded through small loans made by members of the community who made the choice to invest on Main Street rather than on Wall Street. During the expansion process, Berkshire Food Co-op employed local contractors, subcontractors and vendors, infusing the local economy with nearly $2 million. This is in addition to the more than $1 million the co-op spends annually with local businesses for goods and services. The committee was impressed with the scale of the expansion, the co-op's commitment to paying a living wage and the business' long history of generosity in the community.

"We are thrilled to recognize Massachusetts companies that contribute so much to the commonwealth's economic success. The diversity of industries across the state demonstrates that Massachusetts is an outstanding location for businesses to expand and thrive," said Pete Abair, executive director of MassEcon.


MountainOne Insurance award

MountainOne Insurance, a full service insurance agency with offices in North Adams, Pittsfield and Williamstown, has been named a "Top Insurance Workplace" by Insurance Business America (IBA). IBA’s annual Top Insurance Workplaces program ranks leading U.S. insurance organizations based on a series of employee satisfaction metrics, including benefits, compensation, culture, employee development and diversity.

"We are honored to be recognized by Insurance Business America as a Top Insurance Workplace," said Jonathan Denmark, MountainOne Insurance's president and chief operating officer. "As a provider of personal and business insurance products as well as employee benefits solutions, we know it is critical to invest in our employees to ensure they have the skills and tools to not only attract and retain customers, but also to provide advice as a trusted advisor. We empower our team of licensed professionals to achieve the highest level designations in the industry and utilize that knowledge to serve our clients. Our compensation and benefits packages, as well as our corporate culture, help make MountainOne Insurance Agency a desired workplace and has led to this prestigious recognition."

IBA’s Top Insurance Workplaces program has a two-phase qualification process, including an employer and an anonymous employee satisfaction survey. Company results are distributed across three separate categories based on employee size and overall employee satisfaction scores. MountainOne Insurance was ranked among the 33 organizations recognized in the smaller employer category (less than 99 employees) for 2019.


Big Y Best-in-State rankings

Forbes Magazine has identified America's Best-in-State Employers for 2019 based upon an independent survey from a vast sample of 80,000 U.S. employees working in companies employing at least 500 in their U.S. operations. Forbes utilizes several platforms to anonymously contact employees. Their experience has shown that this method allows for both full and part-time employees to openly state their opinions while avoiding any influence from their employer.

Big Y ranks number two in the state of Massachusetts among 74 companies and number 20 in Connecticut out of 36. "At Big Y, we are especially humbled and grateful to be honored by our employees and Forbes Magazine as a top employer in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Our goal is always to partner with our employees to best serve our customers and our communities. We are blessed to have a workforce of colleagues and friends who give their best every day and are the tops in our industry, said Big Y president and CEO, Charles L. D'Amour.


Trendsetter Awards

1Berkshire will present the Berkshire Trendsetter Awards at the ninth annual Celebrate the Berkshires event on Sept. 26 at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock. The 1Berkshire Trendsetter Awards showcase Berkshire-based individuals and businesses who demonstrate excellence in several areas.

More than 150 businesses, organizations and individuals were nominated in the following categories: Innovative Marketing Campaign, Creative Economy Standout, Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year, Growing/Advancing the Berkshire Economy, Newcomer of the Year, Nonprofit Impact, and Under 40 Change Maker. To purchase your tickets or to learn more, visit the website.

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Berkshire Line Railroad Track Improvement Project Phase II

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced that the second phase of the track improvement operations for the Berkshire Line Railroad has begun in Great Barrington and Stockbridge. 
The work, which began on Monday, Sept. 21, will be conducted along the railroad right of way and consists of installing new stone ballast, replacing jointed rail with new continuously welded rail, replacing turnout switches, and reconstructing private crossings. 
The project also includes replacing the railroad bridge near Park Street north in Housatonic, reconstructing private railroad crossings in the area near Van Deusenville Road and North Plain Road in Great Barrington, and rebuilding the Furnace Road grade crossing in Stockbridge.  
The work will require local roadway detours which will be coordinated with police and fire departments.
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