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Derry’s Pinkerton Academy chosen as first high school site for WorkReadyNH program

Union Leader Correspondent

May 06. 2014 7:16PM

DERRY — Pinkerton Academy has been selected as the first high school in the state for the launch of a new program that can help students land their first job.

The WorkReadyNH program provides classroom instruction in “soft skills,” which are practices that can be critical for achieving workplace success, said Chip Underhill, executive director of public relations and external affairs for Pinkerton Academy.

Those skills include such abilities as communication, leadership and teamwork.

The program also assesses basic workplace skills in applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information.

WorkReadyNH originally started for adults, Underhill said. Community colleges then started teaching college students in the state. And now, the community colleges will teach high school students “as the soft skills are sorely needed to land a job, even the first job,” Underhill said.

Manchester Community College has been chosen to teach Pinkerton students in the program, Underhill said.

The state’s Department of Resources and Economic Development selected Pinkerton as the first site for the project, according to officials.

Plans call for from 12 to 18 students to participate in the initial installation of the program that will begin at Pinkerton on June 23 and conclude around July 11, said Doug Cullen, Pinkerton Academy’s career coordinator for the Center for Career Technical Education (CTE).

Along with CTE, the high school’s Adult Education, Special Education and Guidance departments are also participating in the “hybrid” program, Cullen said.

“So these four departments are participating in trying to, in essence, recruit the right students for it,” Cullen said.

The profile of the typical student who will be involved in the program, Cullen said, is one who “wants to go directly into work or to kind of gradually stage themselves into a community college setting as opposed to jumping in right after high school.”

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