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Berkshire Bank Receives National Recognition for Volunteerism

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank announced it has been honored by the American Bankers Assoc. for its corporate volunteer efforts through its Community Commitment Awards program.

The annual program honors banks for their work in the community in categories ranging from affordable housing to volunteerism. The selection committee, made up of national experts in each category, choose recipients based on the creativity and thoughtfulness of the bank program. Each program must embody the ideals of corporate social responsibility and demonstrate success in measurable terms.

Berkshire Bank received recognition for its Xtraordinary Day, which took place on June 7, 2016. The bank closed all retail locations and operations centers to allow all employees the opportunity to volunteer in the communities they serve. Employees completed 56 group service projects, selected and planned by local employees. Ninety-five percent of Berkshire’s employees participated in this Day of Service, directly impacting more than 100,000 individuals.

While Berkshire Bank has held volunteer days in the past, this was the first time it closed down all operations to ensure every employee that wanted to participate had the opportunity to do so. Xtraordinary Day, the first of its kind across the country, highlighted the bank’s support of its local communities while empowering employees to champion the causes that were most important to them. By closing its doors, Berkshire Bank intended to show the true power of giving back on a grand scale.

The American Bankers Assoc. made the recognition possible through its ABA Foundation. The ABA is the voice of the nation’s $16 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional, and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $12 trillion in deposits, and extend more than $8 trillion in loans.

Xtraordinary Day was just a piece of Berkshire Bank’s broader commitment to the community. Annually, Berkshire Bank and its charitable foundations provide more than $2 million to important community organizations, including scholarships to high-school seniors with a record of financial need and academic excellence and the environment through its AMEB Green Sustainability initiative. In addition to financial support, the XTEAM, the bank’s nationally acclaimed employee volunteer program, provides employees with paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours. Nearly 100% of Berkshire Bank’s employees have participated in the program in 2016, putting Berkshire on pace to achieve the highest volunteer participation rate of any company in the U.S. The company also plans to hold Xtraordinary Day again in 2017.

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