MCLA and MassHire Partner to Support 2021 Berkshire Virtual Career Week

Print Story | Email Story
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — As part of the Berkshire Compact for Education, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, MassHire and other community partners will help showcase careers in the Berkshires the week of April 26-30 through Berkshire Virtual Career Week.
 
"It's great to see these opportunities for students to learn more about what they want to pursue in their future," Berkshire Workforce Board high school intern Nick Lopenzina said, "Workshops like this really give kids a chance to start finding their direction."
 
The event aims to engage high school students, mainly in grades 10-12, in career awareness and exploration through a blend of live Zoom sessions with local professionals and scheduled broadcasts on Pittsfield Community Television.  
 
Career Week programming is also open to Berkshire residents of all ages who are interested in learning more about the current labor market landscape in the Berkshires. Via PCTV, portions of the live sessions will be broadcast, and career-related content will air when there is not a live Zoom meeting. All videos will be available after the week-long event in PCTV's online educational library. A full schedule with all programming will be available prior to April 26 at www.masshireberkshire.com. 
 
The MassHire Berkshire Career Center will also host a Virtual Job Fair from noon-4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27. This event is for those ages 14-21 seeking jobs in the Berkshires. To register for the job fair, visit www.MasshireBerkshireCC.com and visit "Calendar of Events." 
 
Career Week will also feature daily, live Zoom sessions focused on different careers in the Berkshires including a STEM session organized by MCLA and the Berkshire STEM Network, plus sessions on Health Care and Human Services, Hospitality and Tourism, Communications, Building Trades, and Advanced Manufacturing.  
 
"MCLA is proud to partner on this program with MassHire," said MCLA Director of Corporate and Strategic Partnerships Dr. Joshua Mendel. "Through MCLA representation on the Berkshire Compact's Aspiration Committee and the Berkshire STEM Network, the College is able to contribute to these kinds of opportunities for students throughout the Berkshires, another part of our mission of public education, and another aspect of the work we do toward maintaining a thriving economy in Berkshire County."  
 
How to View: 
 
Head to PittsfieldTV.org to connect via cable, digitally or on demand to all programming. 
 
High school students (specifically grades 10-12) interested in registering for the live Zoom sessions should connect with their school guidance counselor and inquire about this event. 
 
  

Tags: MCLA,   

0 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

MCLA Food Pantry Receives $3,000 Grant from James and Robert Hardman Fund

NORTH ADAMS, MASS.—The MCLA Food Pantry has received a $3,000 grant from the James and Robert Hardman Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.  
 
The Hardman Fund grant will support the diversification of the food pantry's offerings, including the addition of more fresh and perishable food items, one of the pantry's longtime goals. The pantry will also purchase carts so guests can pick up pre-packaged meals and supplies outside the pantry. Funds will also be used to hire student employees to take inventory and maintain the pantry's physical space, as well as work on its resource page which launched this spring on MCLA's curriculum software Canvas. Student employees will also restart MCLA's Swipe Out Hunger program, paused due to the pandemic, which allows students to donate excess parts of their meal plan to redistribute to students in need. 
 
The MCLA Food Pantry opened in 2017 and provides canned goods, prepackaged meals, and supplies such as toilet paper and cleaning products to MCLA students from its location in the Amsler Campus Center. Half of MCLA's students are eligible to apply for a Pell Grant, which are available for college students who demonstrate extreme financial need. In 2020, the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice conducted a national survey that found that 41 percent of four-year college students are food insecure. Of MCLA's students, 37 percent have self-reported experiencing food insecurity. The pandemic has greatly increased this need and the pantry has experienced more demand for their services.  
 
The pandemic has provided new challenges for the pantry. When MCLA pivoted to remote learning, the pantry lost many of its student employees and volunteers, and had to restructure their distribution system to accommodate remote ordering and pickup. MCLA's Director of Civic and Community Engagement Spencer Moser said the biggest concern has been "decreased and irregular contact with our students. We are frequently alerted to students struggling with basic needs by professors or staff and will work with students to provide aid beyond immediate relief." These services include counseling in how to apply for SNAP benefits and rental assistance, as well as how to access transportation. These are resources the pantry hopes to make more accessible with the Hardman Fund's grant by hiring a part-time student to refine the pantry's online resources.  
View Full Story

More North Adams Stories