Holyoke Community College (HCC) has landed a $1.28 million grant to launch a new, free certificate and internship program intended to help address a shortage of workers in the human-services industry.
The grant, from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health & Human Services, will cover the full cost of tuition, fees, books, and supplies for students who want to earn a certificate in human services coupled with a paid internship at one of four local social-service agencies.
Partnering with HCC on the grant are Gándara Center, ServiceNet, Mental Health Assoc., and Jewish Family Services.
“This program is really meant to accelerate a student’s entry into the workforce,” said Donna Rowe, chair of HCC’s Human Services program. “It’s wonderful that these four agencies have made this agreement with us. They’re looking for workers, and we have students looking to get into the field.”