BCC Continues MassReconnect Information Sessions

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) continues its series of special community college information sessions for anyone either over the age of 25 without a college degree or for those pursuing a nursing degree. 
 
In both cases, thanks to the Commonwealth's MassReconnect and nursing scholarship programs, attending college at BCC can be completely free.  
 
Free information sessions will be held: 
  • Saturday, December 9: 10 am, Berkshire Community College, 1350 West Street, Pittsfield 
  • Tuesday, December 12: 5 pm, virtual  
  • Thursday, December 14: 5 pm, Brien Center, 124 American Legion Drive, North Adams  
To register for a session, visit www.berkshirecc.edu/massreconnect-nursing.
 
Financial aid, admissions and advising staff will be on hand, and question-and-answer sessions will be held after the information sessions. 
 
MassReconnect is a program that pays the full costs of community college for adults 25 and older who do not already have a college degree. MassReconnect covers tuition and fees for eligible students, who also receive an allowance to pay for books and supplies.  
 
Students are eligible for the MassReconnect program if they: 
  • Are 25 or older on the first day of classes      
  • Are enrolled in and pursuing a program of higher education at a public community college 
  • Have not previously earned a college degree     
  • Are enrolled in at least six credits per semester  
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 
  • Are a Massachusetts resident 
The Community College Nursing Scholarship Program is designed for students who intend to enroll in and complete a credential or degree in nursing. The program provides "last dollar" financial assistance to ensure that all eligible students have adequate resources to fully cover the direct costs of tuition and fees towards a certificate or associate degree at a public community college.  
 
Students are eligible for the Community College Nursing Scholarship Program if they: 
 
  • Reside in Massachusetts for at least one year prior to the beginning of the school term and be a U.S. citizen, permanent legal resident or non-citizen eligible under Title IV regulations, or have an approved eligibility status designated by the Board of Higher Education 
  • Have not earned a prior degree 
  • Are not in default on any state or federal student loans for attendance at any institution 
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually 
  • Are enrolled full-time or part-time in a nursing program at a community college in Massachusetts 
  • Meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) 
  • Demonstrate unmet need toward the costs of tuition, fees, books and supplies, after all other grant and scholarship aid has been accounted for 

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Berkshire County Regional Employment Board Awarded State Grant

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced $16.3 million in Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund (WCTF) grants awarded to nine organizations to upskill 1,860 individuals for careers in high-demand occupations in healthcare and behavioral health sectors across Massachusetts. 
 
The funding will support initiatives to train and hire unemployed and underemployed individuals while providing current employees with the skills to meet the needs of Massachusetts employers for roles such as Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Nurse Assistant, and Mental Health Peer Support Specialist.
 
"Industries across the state are experiencing workforce challenges, but the need is particularly great in behavioral health care, as we need enough trained workers to provide the care that our residents need and deserve," said Governor Maura Healey. "These grants will help address these challenges by hiring and training new talent and upskilling existing talent."  
 
In Berkshire County, the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Inc. was awarded $2,227,173.
 
Berkshire County Regional Employment Board will provide training and placement services to prepare 510 unemployed and underemployed participants for Medical Assistant, Certified Nurse Assistant, Acute Care Nurse Assistant, and Registered Behavioral Technician positions. They will partner with Community Health Programs, The Brien Center, Berkshire Health Systems, and Integritus Healthcare. 
 
This partnership also aims to assess the demand and develop programming opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses, career pathways for Licensed Practical Nurses to Registered Nurses, and provide career advancement training for incumbent Behavioral Health workers.
 
The Workforce Competitive Trust Fund Program grants, administered by Commonwealth Corporation on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, are part of the Healey-Driscoll Administration's strategic investment to retain and upskill existing talent in Massachusetts' current workforce. The Healthcare/Behavioral Health Hub Grants announced today support investments in collaborative efforts focused on addressing healthcare and behavioral health workforce needs in regions across the Commonwealth. 
 
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