After postponing the program in 2020, and running a virtual program in 2021, we were happy to welcome 22 individuals to join us for an in-person program this spring. Participants began the program with a two-day retreat that focused on their leadership styles and working within a team. Following the retreat, the class spent a day on an economic development bus tour highlighting several areas of opportunities and challenges throughout the County; stops along the bus tour included MASS MoCA, Williams College, Bousquet, Austen Riggs, and General Dynamics. The weekly sessions focused on the industry clusters highlighted in the Berkshire Blueprint 2.0 – Advanced Manufacturing, Creative Economy, Food & Agriculture, Healthcare, Hospitality & Tourism, and Housing. The last session was a discussion about how to get involved in their community and information about board service and the opportunities that exist to serve on a board or committee.
After much discussion and deliberation, the class chose to focus on advocacy for mental health workers in Berkshire County for their class project. The class wrote and recorded public service announcements to educate the public about the work of mental health workers and stating their support for mental health and counseling organizations in the Berkshires. See the video PSAs recorded in both English and Spanish, or listen to the radio recordings in both English and Spanish. On June 30, at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington, the Class of 2022 presented their project as part of the Commencement ceremony.
1Berkshire is proud to announce and celebrate the Class of 2022!