Pittsfield Native Killed In Air Force Crash

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Jacob Galliher on the field for Taconic High in this file photo.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The body of Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher was recovered off the coast of Japan after the military aircraft he was on crashed Wednesday.
 
The Pittsfield Police Department released a statement noting that Galliher was a 2017 graduate of Taconic High School. 
 
The statement included that Galliher leaves behind his wife and 2-year-old and 6-week-old sons.
 
The Associated Press reported that on Nov. 29, an Air Force Osprey based in Japan crashed during a training mission off the country's southern coast. It was reported that the crash killed at least one of the eight crew members.
 
At this time, the status of the seven other airmen is unknown. The cause of the crash is also unknown. 
 
Taconic High School Principal Matthew Bishop said the school is in mourning after learning of Galliher's death.
 
"Jake was a proud member of the Class of 2017 and was known for his exemplary character, leadership qualities, and commitment to Taconic High School. He was an outstanding student, an integral member of our football program, and an active participant in our school community. Many staff members remember his kind, fun-loving spirit and how much he positively impacted our school," he wrote in a statement released Friday afternoon. "After graduation, Jake chose to serve our country with valor and dedication, joining the Air Force. The news of his tragic and untimely passing has left Taconic in mourning, as we reflect on the loss of a bright and promising individual who embodied the values that we hope to instill in all of our students."
 
He wrote that the Taconic community sends its deepest condolences to Galliher's family, friends, and fellow service members. 
 
"We extend our deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved Jake and hope his memory will be a source of strength and inspiration," Bishop wrote.
 
U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal released the following statement on the passing Galliher:
 
"As a father, my heart goes out to Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher's mother and father during this difficult time. Any parent will tell you there is no greater pain than the pain of losing a child, and Jacob Galliher was beloved by all. Staff Sgt. Galliher represented our nation's best, enlisting in the Air Force right out of high school and committing himself to serving his country. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially his mother, father, wife, and two sons. The Pittsfield community and a grateful nation mourns the loss of Jacob Galliher."
 
Governor Maura T. Healey and Secretary of Veterans' Services Jon Santiago also issued statements on the passing of Galliher.
 
"I'm heartbroken to learn of the passing of Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher, who lost his life while proudly serving his country. My thoughts are with his family, especially his two young sons, and the Berkshire County community as they mourn the loss of one of their best and brightest," said Governor Healey. "Here in Massachusetts, we are deeply grateful for the bravery and selflessness of our servicemembers, and our hearts go out to his colleagues in the Air Force on this devastating loss." 
 
"The Galliher family is enduring every service family's nightmare, and we hold them in our hearts and prayers as they grieve," said Secretary Jon Santiago, Executive Office of Veterans Services. "May his memory serve as a source of solace and strength to his family, friends, and fellow servicemembers. Our Massachusetts military community extends our deepest condolences to his family and will honor his legacy."  
 
 

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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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