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Bart Raser from Carr Hardware and Michael Richards Superintendent of Lee Public Schools and Staff.

Carr Hardware Donates PPE to Berkshire Schools

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Bart Raser from Carr Hardware and Jason McCandless Superintendent of Pittsfield Public Schools.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Carr Hardware's "Round-up for the Schools" campaign donated over $8,500 in personal protective equipment to three local school districts.
 
"We are a community business that believes in giving back, it's just part of our core culture," President of Carr Hardware Bart Raser said. "Our kids and schools need our help more than ever and school safety is paramount. We are thrilled to be in a position to do our part and appreciative of the generosity of our customers who supported our teachers and our students."
 
Tuesday, Carr Hardware representatives made the rounds and delivered PPE to three local school districts: North Adams Public Schools, Lee Public Schools and Pittsfield Public Schools.
 
Deliveries included masks, sanitizer and commercial disinfectant sprayers 
 
"We are so thankful to our community partners at Carr Hardware for supporting our schools." North Adams Superintendent Barbara Malkas said.
 
School district's throughout the Commonwealth must adhere to strict guidelines in regard to COVID-19 to allow in-person education. This includes the use of masks, constant cleaning, and available handwashing stations and hand sanitizer.
 
"The Round-Up Campaign that Carr Hardware engaged in this year was amazing," Lee Superintendent Michael Richard said. "The support dedicated to our community, and others in the area, is remarkable. The efforts of Carr Hardware is what distinguishes their stores from others; they truly care about the communities that they serve. Our students, staff, and families will all benefit from this extraordinary donation. Thank you."
 
The campaign started at the end of August and Carr customers were given the option to round-up their purchases to the nearest dollar and Carr would match those dollars 100 percent. Carr Hardware also had change collection jars stationed at all locations for customers to donate
 
"The Pittsfield Public Schools are so grateful to our neighbors at Carr Hardware for supporting our schools in yet another way through the Round-Up Program,"  Pittsfield Superintendent Jason McCandless said. "Carr Hardware has been there for the Pittsfield Public Schools and its students in so many ways over the decades, and we thank the Raser family and the whole Carr Hardware family for once again being there for children of Pittsfield."
 
Carr Hardware is now working on plans to hold another campaign in November.
 

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Berkshire County Regional Employment Board Awarded State Grant

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced $16.3 million in Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) grants awarded to nine organizations to upskill 1,860 individuals for careers in high-demand occupations in healthcare and behavioral health sectors across Massachusetts. 
 
The funding will support initiatives to train and hire unemployed and underemployed individuals while providing current employees with the skills to meet the needs of Massachusetts employers for roles such as Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Nurse Assistant, and Mental Health Peer Support Specialist.
 
"Industries across the state are experiencing workforce challenges, but the need is particularly great in behavioral health care, as we need enough trained workers to provide the care that our residents need and deserve," said Governor Maura Healey. "These grants will help address these challenges by hiring and training new talent and upskilling existing talent."  
 
In Berkshire County, the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Inc. was awarded $2,227,173.
 
Berkshire County Regional Employment Board will provide training and placement services to prepare 510 unemployed and underemployed participants for Medical Assistant, Certified Nurse Assistant, Acute Care Nurse Assistant, and Registered Behavioral Technician positions. They will partner with Community Health Programs, The Brien Center, Berkshire Health Systems, and Integritus Healthcare. 
 
This partnership also aims to assess the demand and develop programming opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses, career pathways for Licensed Practical Nurses to Registered Nurses, and provide career advancement training for incumbent Behavioral Health workers.
 
The Workforce Competitive Trust Fund Program grants, administered by Commonwealth Corporation on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, are part of the Healey-Driscoll Administration's strategic investment to retain and upskill existing talent in Massachusetts' current workforce. The Healthcare/Behavioral Health Hub Grants announced today support investments in collaborative efforts focused on addressing healthcare and behavioral health workforce needs in regions across the Commonwealth. 
 
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