NORTH ADAMS -- To help Northern Berkshire Healthcare employees with career options, the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development is sending a Rapid Response team to North Adams that will arrive Wednesday and stay through next Tuesday.

Team members assist workers facing employment difficulties with available workforce training options, provide information about career centers, and help them with the process of obtaining unemployment benefits, said spokeswoman Ann Dufresne.

"We talk to management and employees and make employees aware of all the different services that are available to them," Dufresne said.

"It's not just collecting Unemployment Insurance; there's a large range of services and grants," she said.

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO also has a Rapid Response Team that partners with the State Rapid Response team to assist unions and workers who are experiencing lay-offs or downsizing.

That team helps people get new jobs, training, job counseling and more.

The closing of North Adams Regional Hospital and other of Northern Berkshire Healthcare's affiliate companies will leave 530 people without jobs after Friday.


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