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Central Mass Career Pipeline

Addressing Workforce Shortages, Diversity and InclusionFirst cohort of the human services careers support program

The Central Mass Behavioral Health/Human Services Career Pipeline Collaborative initiates and supports programming to:  

  • Attract immigrants and refugees to the field

  • Increase racial equity in our provider agencies

  • Attract youth in high school to consider behavioral health and human services careers

  • Increase support for BIPOC staff to pursue leadership and clinical advancement in our agencies  

The overarching goal is to diversify our workforces and providing meaningful career opportunities for BIPOC, Latinx, immigrants, refugees and other underrepresented groups. Our holistic approach responds to the workforce shortage in our industry and ensures that regional employers, educators, and workforce needs are addressed in a coordinated way to create strong talent pipelines, for both entry-level, middle-skilled and highly-skilled jobs. 

The Career Pipeline Initiative began in 2019 with a feasibility study and planning process funded by the Fairlawn Foundation of Greater Worcester Community Foundation. Since that time a group of provider agencies, colleges and other groups including MassHire, the City of Worcester Office of Youth Opportunities, Healthy Greater Worcester Coalition and many others have spent countless hours exploring creative ways to address workforce shortages, diversity and inclusion. 


Click on the links to learn more about each program.


  • Open Sky Community Services

  • Seven Hills Foundation  

  • Ascentria Care Alliance 

  • African Community Education (ACE) 

  • The Southeast Asian Coalition (SEAC) 

  • UMass Chan 

  • Legendary Legacies 

  • Latin American Health Alliance 

  • Living in Freedom Together 

  • Partnering Resources

  • LUK, Inc. (2022-2023)

  • Venture Community Services (2022-2023)

Current & Former Funders

  • Mass Hire/Commonwealth Corps/Mass Health/Rize Foundation 

  • Healthcare HUB and Workforce Training Funds

  • The Fairlawn Foundation of Greater Worcester Community Foundation

  • Reliant Foundation

  • This project is funded in part by the Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant (Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund FY’21 Appropriation) and funds appropriated through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. This grant initiative is administered by Commonwealth Corporation on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Workforce Skills Cabinet.

Workforce Summit - June 26,2023

Open Sky, Seven Hills, UMass Chan Medical School and the City of Worcester hosted a summit at Worcester State University on Monday, June 26, to highlight the current human services/behavioral health workforce crisis and to share information about innovative responses the group has developed.

Among the attendees at the summit were Brooke Doyle, Commissioner of Mental Health, Jane Ryder, Commissioner of Developmental Services (DDS), and Toni Wolf, Commissioner of Mass Rehab Commission (MRC).  Guest speaker was Mary McGeown, Undersecretary for Human Services in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. 

The program highlighted the Behavioral Health and Human Services Career Pathway Collaborative of Central MA – a group of providers and others who have partnered to develop creative ways of addressing workforce shortages, attracting immigrants and refugees and young people to human services careers, and addressing racism in hiring, advancement and the workplace environment.

Models highlighted included the Human Services Career Support program for immigrants and refugees which has graduated 38 people thus far, and experienced an 87% retention rate over one year,  the Clinical Leadership and Support Pathway, which helps BIPOC employees develop and implement career plans in the industry, and the Dynamic Futures program which will host 25 BIPOC high school aged youth to a four week program this summer, two weeks of which will be in residency at Worcester State University.  

Central to the group’s success has been a focus on collaboration, addressing racism, providing Career Support and Advancement Navigators, wraparound supports and using a Cohort model where peer support reinforces participation and achievement.

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