RSVP for Working Cities Wednesday on October 26

The next working Cities Wednesday begins at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, October 26 at the Family Resource Center at 480 West Street in Pittsfield. Please RSVP no later than Friday, October 21 so we can plan for food and childcare. You can confirm your attendance on Basecamp, or by email Christian at

Berkshire Bridges is also participating in a pilot study of feedback loops through a short survey. We want to measure how people think about our neighborhoods and test a new way of collecting community feedback data. The survey will be on laptops and on paper as you enter the FRC, and participation is strongly encouraged! We’re raffling off a Habitat ReStore certificate to a random, lucky participant!

You can arrive as early as 5:15 to do the survey, along with grabbing some food before the meeting business begins at 5:45.

Other opportunities:

  • Governor Baker’s Economic Development Summit in Worcester this Wednesday (10/19). There will be breakout sessions on innovation, infrastructure, workforce, housing, and sector strategies/competitiveness hosted by some of the WCC’s favorite Gateway Cities champions. It seems like a great way to learn more about how state-level efforts align with your work and what opportunities may be coming down the pike (literally!): click here to register for this free event
  • The Gateway Cities Innovation Awards and Summit is on Tuesday, November 15 from 10:00am-2:00pm in Springfield. This year’s event is themed around workforce development. Come exchange ideas, meet fellow leaders, and celebrate efforts to improve our Gateway Cities. You can register for this event for FREE in General Admission (normally $100) using the promo code “innovation” on this link.
  • The Berkshire Taconic Foundation needs your help with their resident survey It will be open until October 28. It is open full-time, part-time and seasonal residents of Berkshire County, Mass.; Columbia County and northeast Dutchess County, NY.

Here is our tentative agenda for the meeting:

5:15        Arrive, sign in, collect meeting materials, complete survey, and get food.

5:45        Introductions

5:50        Initiative Director Update

6:05        Community Updates

  • Pittsfield RLC space – Alan Vreeland
  • Arts is Recovery program at Crane Center –

6:15        Bridges overview

7:15        Community Event Recaps

  • Creating a Trauma Informed Community
  • Harvest of Hope

7:25        Community Consensus

7:30        End meeting and clean up

After October, our next meeting is Wednesday, November 16 at 5:30 pm at the Family Resource Center. Please contact Christian at if you have questions about or want to join our Basecamp, or contact Nicole at for logistics and partnerships. See you there!

Agenda Prep for the October Working Cities Wednesday meeting

The agenda is being created for our next Working Cities Wednesday meeting on October 26, 5:30 pm at the Family Resource Center. If you want to present a community event or announcement, or want to RSVP in advance, comment here or email Christian at by next Monday, October 17.

Are you new to the Berkshire Bridges Initiative? We have these handy guidesheets on our website! You can find them on our ‘About’ page, or click here to read and download. If you’d like to give us feedback on the guidesheets, email Nicole at

If you plan on attending the October Working Cities Wednesday, here’s a reminder of our meeting guidelines:

 Community Rules at Meetings (set at the July Working Cities Wednesday meeting)
 Introduce yourself, but leave out your title (we’re all community members here).
 Listen respectfully when someone else is speaking—no cross talk.
 If you’re usually a quiet person, step up.
 If you tend to do a lot of talking, be sure to step back so all voices are heard.
 Clarify any abbreviations you are using so everyone understands.
 Be open to all ideas.

September 28 Minutes and Updates

Thank you again for your ongoing commitments to Berkshire Bridges. We’re excited to have a new Initiative Director and Bridges Out of Poverty trainings beginning by our next meeting on October 26! Here are the minutes recorded from Christian, plus a few other updates. You can also find this under “Docs & Files” in the September 28 folder.

The Harvest of Hope Festival this past weekend was an amazing community event–so thankful for all of our partners and Berkshire Bridges members that made this possible! We even made the front page of the Sunday Berkshire Eagle here.

See you at Creating a Trauma-Informed Berkshire County this Wednesday at the Colonial Theater. Call (413) 997-4444 to RSVP, the conversations and food are going to be great!


Berkshire Bridges September 28th, 2016 Meeting Notes

Food was provided for the start of the meeting by Cheryl Bassett. The meeting was moderated by Ken Demers.
Hiring Committee Update: There have been 30 applications for the initiative director position so far. They are still considering 9 of the applicants. Interviews will start the 2nd week of October. They hope to hire the initiative director by the end of October.
Communications Committee: Like, share, and follow us on Facebook:  Updates posted regularly, and you can comment with your own community events and announcements.
Berkshire Bridge Builders Update: Anonymous ways to report crime in Pittsfield:
        Text “PITTIP plus your message” to 847411 (Tip411)
        PPD anonymous drug and violence tip line: 413-448-9708
        Non-emergency communications center: 413-448-9700 ext. 0
        Emergencies and crimes in process: 911
Westside Neighborhood Watch also focuses on community safety and their next meeting is 5:30 at the Christian Center on Tuesday, October 18th. They will also clean up around the neighborhood at 4:30.
Bridges Facilitators Update / Community Consensus: In the August Working Cities Wednesday meeting, we decided to offer Bridges trainings for Working Cities members. The Bridges Facilitators found that we could have a one hour overview, separate training meetings, and/or 60-90 minute training modules during the Working Cities Wednesday meetings. We voted anonymously using printed out surveys. From the responses I got, we will have a one hour overview on October 26th at the Working Cities Wednesday meeting and revote on the other two options.

We also have video Resources to Bridges Out of Poverty (courtesy of Estervina). These will also be posted to our website and facebook pages. Check them out!
        Bridges: A comprehensive approach to poverty –
        Applying Bridges concepts to my agency –
        Building a Bridges Initiative (that’s usJ) –
        Restoring hope –
·         Creating a Trauma-Informed Berkshire County on October 5 at the Colonial Theater beginning at 5:30 pm. Highly suggested that you go as a Berkshire Bridges partner! Mayor Tyer and the Chief Michael Wynn are attending, along with Superintendents, and leaders from throughout Berkshire County. Refreshments provided. RSVP at the Berkshire Theater Group: (413) 997-4444
·         Harvest of Hope Festival and World Groove Dance-In was on October 1 at The Common from 12:00-7:00 pm, and the dance party from 7:30-11:00 pm. A multicultural day of art making, dance, spoken word, creative performances, a Harvest Feast, and more to celebrate diversity that fosters unity in our community! Contact Anaelisa Jacobsen at to learn more, or to be a partner.
·         Customer Engagement Certificate program from BCC: a 21-hour noncredit certificate program for customer engagement; 4 meetings at $189. Scholarships available. Call (413) 236-2127 for details and to register. BCC also offers many more classes and training programs.
·         BerkshireWorks has the following career position available:
Presentation: Jana Hunkler presented on The website answers questions about transportation eligibility, accessibility, flexibility, and affordability in Massachusetts.