BCC Wins Nearly $1.1M Grant for Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program

Berkshire Community College (BCC) has been awarded a $1,080,231 grant from a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services program called Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET). Grant funds, dispersed over four years, will provide stipends, partial reimbursement of tuition and fees, and supplies for up to 15 students per year enrolled in BCC's Mental Health, Addiction Recovery and Human Services certificate programs. The grant will also support hiring a project coordinator and a mentor/coach for students.

"We continue to focus on ways to increase access by expanding opportunities for students to explore college and by removing barriers to student success once at BCC,” said Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Laurie Gordy, who noted that BCC’s Human Services faculty worked with Director of Grants Development Gina Stec to secure the grant. "We are thrilled to win this grant, which will boost our efforts tremendously."

Professor of Human Services Kari Dupuis said students who earn certificates in mental health, addiction recovery or human services gain hands-on experience during field work internships and learn invaluable entry-level skills. "There is such an urgent need for human services workers in our community, especially in the areas of substance use prevention and mental health," Dupuis said. "This grant will not only help our students complete their certificates, but it will also help meet the escalating need for trained, entry-level professionals in these fields in Berkshire County."

Kari Dupuis

Kari Dupuis

BCC plans to implement a comprehensive program designed to provide Berkshire County with a steady stream of qualified, diverse human service professionals ready to enter the workforce — particularly those who will serve the area's high-risk and medically underserved communities. Mental Health, Addiction Recovery and Human Services certificates, which may be earned in as little as one year, provide a much-needed supply of trained workers to fill employment opportunities in the Berkshires.