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North Adams Assistance Center Opens for Former Hospital Workers

NORTH ADAMS — State Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian and state Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz recently joined legislators and local workforce-development officials at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open a worker-assistance center inside North Adams City Hall.

The center is the latest effort to marshal state resources in helping 530 area residents who lost their jobs when North Adams Regional Hospital (NARH) and its affiliates closed in March.

“The Patrick Administration is committed to making sure no worker or region is left behind as the state’s economy continues to improve and enjoys record job growth,” said Kaprielian. “This center and the skills-training opportunities the state is allocating will help get these residents back to work.”

The Mass. Department of Public Health has been instrumental in helping the hospital reopen as a healthcare facility and restore regional healthcare services. Three months ago, Berkshire Health Systems opened an emergency room in the facility and hired approximately 150 former NARH employees.

“Massachusetts is committed to ensuring that quality healthcare is accessible in every region across the Commonwealth,” said Polanowicz. “This worker assistance center in North Adams reinforces the administration’s commitment to the region’s healthcare community, and to supporting workers, patients, and families.”

Added North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright, “a huge ‘thank you’ to our state partners at the Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development, and our local partners at Berkshire County Regional Employment Board and BerkshireWorks, for providing this wonderful opportunity to the residents of our Greater Northern Berkshire region. This center will provide significant resources to the unemployed and underemployed that will help them seek out opportunities and provide training for the skills necessary to attain employment. What is also very exciting is that this center will be located right next to our Veteran’s Services Office, providing an on-the-spot resource for our local veterans seeking employment.”

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