1Berkshire seminar will explore ways to recruit, retain millenials

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PITTSFIELD — With an eye toward keeping and retaining a younger workforce in the Berkshires, business and community leaders will gather on Wednesday to brainstorm ideas.

1Berkshire will host a seminar titled "Our Next B.I.G. Idea," at which participants will seek to understand the future of work and how to attract and retain millenials.

"We look at this as the beginning of a larger conversation on how the Berkshires can adapt to the way millenials look at the workplace," said Jonathan Butler, COO of 1Berkshire.

Berkshire County has been losing population faster than any of the state's other counties, and leaders are ramping up efforts to shift the dialog on workforce development to the next generation of the workplace

In 2014, 1Berkshire founded the Berkshire Initiative for Growth (B.I.G.), which is tasked with recruiting to the Berkshires and retaining workers aged 22 to 40, which is roughly the age range for members of the millenial generation.

Millenials tend to view work environments differently than previous generations, placing an equal value on productivity and lifestyle, Butler said.

"They're choosing to live in a world where life dovetails with the environment and this is a unique opportunity to combine the two," he said.

The pamphlet for today's event illustrates that point. It includes a photo of two young people riding a zipline at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock.

B.I.G. is partnering on this event with Live in the Grey, a New York City-based firm with expertise in workplace cultures. Live in the Grey CEO Brad Linde will deliver the keynote address at 8:45 a.m.

A panel discussion featuring three Berkshire CEOs will take place after the keynote address, followed by an interactive training exercise titled, "Values at Work."

The panel of local CEOs includes Patricia Begrowicz from Onyx Speciality Papers in Lee, Wayne Marzotto of General Dynamics, and Nate Winstanley of Winstanley Associates in Lenox.

Contact Tony Dobrowolski at 413-496-6224.

If you go ...

What: Our Next B.I.G. Idea seminar

When: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield

Cost: $25 at the door, which includes a continental breakfast. There is still a limited amount of space for walk-ins.


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