The Connecticut Women’s Consortium (CWC) is a non-profit that educates Connecticut’s mental health, addictions, homelessness, and criminal justice agencies. The CWC trains over 5,000 behavioral health professionals each year and helps organizations improve care. Through the Nonprofit Grant Program, the CWC was able to make key upgrades to our education and training that have expanded our audience.

Due partly to a renovated space, training attendees at the CWC increased by 22% in one year. However, with exponential growth, there were significant challenges. The space itself was now longer, and participants were having difficulty seeing the presentation or hearing the presenter. As a consequence, the CWC had to limit the number of attendees in the training space. Adding a sound system to the room, interactive display board, and additional screen halfway in the middle of the space let students stay actively involved in what was going on in front of the class. But most importantly the CWC was now able to accommodate more behavioral health professionals as our message developed and our audience expanded.

As our reputation grew, so did our audience nationally and we started offering conferences such as the National Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders Conference which highlighted Connecticut’s services. The training equipment we purchased was critical to saving cost for this event and has allowed us since to be a resource to other agencies and conferences.

Finally, bringing in both local and national expertise to train providers, individuals in recovery, and agencies who are interested in a higher level of care can be costly both to create and attend. With a new website, registration system and learning management system we were able to create and advertise low-cost online trainings. Debuting online training in 2016, the CWC will have 15 online courses with continuing education credits for the public by the end of 2017.