Friday, September 22, 2023 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC), in collaboration with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction, 2nd Street, and MassHire Berkshire Career Center, will hold a Second Chances Job and Resource Fair.

They fair will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 4-7 pm at BCC’s Paterson Field House, located at 1350 West Street in Pittsfield.

The job fair is free and open to the public. Formerly incarcerated individuals, including those who may have been justice involved and/or who have a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) file, are particularly encouraged to attend. More information is available at

Area employers who are interested in participating in the fair must register in advance at

The registration deadline is Oct. 27, 2023, or until filled. Employers must have open positions they are seeking to fill immediately and must have a second chances/CORI-friendly hiring policy.

To prepare employers and prospective employees, a series of free workshops will be held in advance of the job fair.

Employer readiness workshops (virtual): Employers can learn how to increase job applicant pools with qualified candidates; how to hire applicants who have a CORI file or a criminal record; and how to leverage the Opportunity Tax Credit and the Federal Bonding Program. Virtual workshops will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 9 am and on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 1 pm. To register, visit

Client readiness workshops (in person): A series of four workshops will help job fair attendees gain the skills they need to interact with employers and ultimately gain employment. Each one-hour workshop will be held at 2nd Street, located at 264 Second Street in Pittsfield. Walk-ins are welcome, and refreshments will be provided. To register, visit

  • Tips for Attending a Job Fair: Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 4 pm
  • How to Talk About Your CORI: Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 4 pm
  • Writing an Effective Resume: Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 4 pm
  • Preparing for Your Interview: Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 4 pm

According to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more than 80 percent of hiring managers consider workers with a criminal history as high-quality hires, equal to or even more effective than those without a criminal history. And, 74 percent of those same hiring managers indicated extreme value in hiring people with a criminal history, in part because it costs relatively little to recruit and hire them.

“Justice involved individuals, especially the formerly incarcerated, face enormous barriers to employment,” said Maureen McLaughlin, BCC’s Interim Executive Director of Workforce Development and Community Education and Director of Strategic Initiatives. “This untapped pool of workers can bring great value to employers and communities when given the opportunity to thrive and succeed in the workplace. They are talented and eager to work.”

For more information, contact Jen Hoffman at (413) 236-2122 or [email protected].