2022 State of the County Report Released

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, in conjunction with the Berkshire Leadership Impact Council, has released the Berkshire Benchmarks 2022 State of the County Report. 
 
This report summarizes data and trends that help identify the region's successes and challenges.
 
Throughout the last two years, more than 100 individuals and community organizations from throughout Berkshire County have worked to identify indicators to track how the region is performing across eight sectors: Economy, Education, Environment, Government, Health, Housing, Social Environment, and Transportation. 
 
A revamped BerkshireBenchmarks.org website highlights these indicators.
 
This report demonstrates that the region has seen successes over the last few years. These successes include an increase in income, a decrease in poverty and unemployment, a healthier environment, and increased stability of the young adult population, according to a press release. 
 
Yet the region also faces challenges, BRPC stated in a press release. Children struggled academically during the pandemic. Housing is getting less affordable to many low and middle-income residents. Behavioral health challenges are getting worse, and there is an increase in reports of families in distress. Many of the indicators show disparities in the county when looking at the data by race and ethnicity. 
 
"The 2022 State of the County Report shows areas in which the region has made strides to improve, such as the retention of the young adult population," said BRPC Data Manager Mark Maloy, "but the report also shows areas that need improvement, such as housing affordability. By working together for the common good, we can address many of the challenges we face in Berkshire County."
 
The State of the County Report 2022 is available online at BerkshireBenchmarks.org.

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Goodwill Makes Promotions

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont announced the promotions of Karen Harrington to director of retail operations, northern territory, and Mary Killeen to the position of director of finance.
 
Harrington is the manager of Goodwill's retail store in Bennington, Vermont, a position she has held since 2015. She oversees operations at Goodwill's store in North Adams and Rutland and is a member of the team working on the July reopening of Goodwill's flagship store in Pittsfield. Prior to joining Goodwill, she was employed at the Bennington Museum for 22 years, including 16 years as administrative assistant to the executive director, followed by six years as manager of the museum's gift shop.
 
Harrington attended Southern Vermont College and is a Bennington native. She resides there with her husband Tim, 13 chickens, two ducks and a Labrador retriever. She has two grown children, three grown stepchildren, and ten grandchildren.
 
Killeen, a Pittsfield native and resident, joined Goodwill in 2020 as its senior accountant. With a B.S. in business administration from Stonehill College and many years of accounting experience, she brings expertise in accounting principles and best practices to Goodwill's administrative team. In her new role as director of finance, Killeen will oversee all the day-to-day financial aspects of Goodwill's operations, as well as short- and long-term planning for the nonprofit organization.
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