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Great Bay's WorkReadyNH program is expanding

June 05. 2012 8:25PM

PORTSMOUTH - The WorkReadyNH program at Great Bay Community College is expanding to help those ages 16 and older develop job skills.

Since the program began accepting participants in October 2011, WorkReadyNH has worked with more than 60 unemployed or underemployed residents to enhance their workplace skills and employability.

Great Bay Community College is now running its ninth class and has had a total of 42 participants complete the program. Currently, there are a total of 22 students in the two classes running.

The program was originally offered at no cost to unemployed New Hampshire residents ages 18 and older. Because it has been well received by employers and partner organizations like NH Works, the free training age requirement has been extended to those 16 years or older.

WorkReadyNH is also available to New Hampshire residents working 30 hours or less per week.

'By extending WorkReadyNH to include 16- to 18-year-olds, we can assist a population that is not typically able to access professional development opportunities. We are able to help them build their resume and portfolio and at the same time have a real-life business experience in a job simulation format. The program was shaped to help people prepare for an effective job search and be successful once they're hired,' Christopher Lawrence, statewide liaison for WorkReadyNH, said in a press release.

Students who complete the WorkReadyNH program receive a National Career Readiness Certificate in addition to a soft skills credential, said Jennifer Scotland, WorkReadyNH director at Great Bay Community College.

'Not only have employers been thrilled with the outcomes of our program, but participants say they have changed their lives in just 15 days. We have seen job seekers who on Day One come into our program downtrodden and about to give up on their job search. By participating in our course, they hone in on their strengths and learn about the workplace with remarkable outcomes,' she said.

The model of the program builds job-readiness skills in the areas of math, reading and problem-solving, as well as soft skills workplace behaviors like teamwork and ethics.

Participants can complete the hard skills at their own pace through an online training program. The classroom-based 'soft skills' training is offered in a simulated work environment at Great Bay Community College.

WorkReadyNH is free to New Hampshire residents ages 16 and older, working 30 hours or less per week, or those who are unemployed.

To find a qualified WorkReadyNH graduate or to refer a job-seeker to WorkReadyNH, contact the Great Bay Community College WorkReadyNH Center at 427-7636 or e-mail The next night class begins June 25 while the next day class begins July 9.

For more information, go to

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