MASSACHUSETTS
State unemployment rate drops below four percent

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped slightly to 3.9 percent in August from 4.1 percent in July. The last time state unemployment was 3.9 percent was in August 2001.

Preliminary estimates show that Massachusetts gained 5,900 jobs last month, according to figures released on Thursday by the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

State unemployment is a full percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.9 percent. State unemployment was 4.8 percent in August 2015.

The state will release local unemployment rates, including Berkshire County, on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

SHEFFIELD
BTCF announces final round of 2016 grant deadlines

The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced the fourth and final round of deadlines for competitive grants for 2016. They cover the period from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. The fall cycle of deadlines is open to regional nonprofits, schools and individuals.

For nonprofits: The William and Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy — application deadline Nov. 1; The Central Berkshire Fund for Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington and Windsor — Oct. 10.

For nonprofits and individuals: The Wasserman-Streit Y'dyah Memorial Fund, grants of up to $500 awarded — Oct. 10.


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For schools: Berkshire Hills Funds for Excellence — Oct. 1; Williamstown Elementary School Endowment Fund — Oct. 7; Lee Fund for Educational Enrichment — Oct. 30; Lanesborough Initiative for Excellence — Dec. 1.

For individuals: The Tupelo Award Fund — Oct. 15.

The application process for all grants is available online at www.berkshiretaconic.org/SearchGrants.