MassHire Gets Grant for Behavioral Health Workforce Training

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board received $252,000 in funding for workforce training and support in the Behavioral Health sector in Berkshire County. 
The Berkshire Behavioral Health Partnership is a recently formed partnership as part of the Berkshire Healthcare Hub to address the difficulty with hiring and retaining qualified staff in the behavioral health sector. 
The Berkshire Behavioral Health Partnership is committed to establishing and expanding a comprehensive strategy to address persistent recruitment and retention challenges in the behavioral health sector. Their goal is to support clinical training; to establish a pipeline occupational training to encourage and engage new and entry-level workers; and to establish a solid network and support system for our behavioral health agencies through networking and professional development opportunities.
Working with partners at the Brien Center, ServiceNet, Community Health Programs, Berkshire Health Systems, and Berkshire Community College, MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board will oversee a series of programs throughout the year. Funds will go towards providing supports to those obtaining licensure at the Brien Center, supporting supervisors who are already overstretched with their daily responsibilities; expanding an entry-level occupational training developed by Berkshire Community College to encourage pipeline and placement efforts; and to build capacity to engage additional partners and promote/market opportunities in behavioral health in the Berkshires. 
"At a time when the need for Behavioral Health Services is high, having the added support for staffing and training is invaluable" said Lois Hobbs, Director of Human Resources at the Brien Center. "We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with this important and timely opportunity." 
This grant is part of the state's commitment to improving the behavioral health delivery system in Massachusetts while implementing the Roadmap for Behavioral Health Reform. This project is funded by a Behavioral Health Partnership Expansion Grant through the MassHealth Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Statewide Investment Program and RIZE Massachusetts Foundation, Inc. and is administered by the Commonwealth Corporation.

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City of Pittsfield Enacts Water Usage Restrictions

PITTSFIELD, Mass.  – With a fast-increasing depletion of the water supply at the Pittsfield Cleveland Reservoir, the city of Pittsfield’s Department of Public Services and Utilities has enacted a State of Water Supply Conservation to ensure an adequate supply of water for fire protection and emergency response effective Monday, Aug. 8.
The action, which falls under the city’s Stage 2 Drought Management Plan, implements mandatory water restrictions.
Restricted activities include outside water use in general, watering lawns and  gardens, washing vehicles, and filling swimming pools. These activities are only permitted before 7  a.m. and after 7 p.m. and are limited to alternate days. Addresses ending in even numbers may water on even days of the month. Addresses ending in odd numbers may water on odd days of the month.
These  restrictions will be enforced by the Department of Public Services and Utilities and will include fines for violations. These include a written warning for the first violation; a $50 fine for the second violation; and $300 for subsequent violations.
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