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NH community colleges, innovative businesses creating workforce of tomorrow

September 21. 2017 11:19AM
Nashua Community College instructor Al DeRosa, left, with 2016 Honda Automotive Technology graduates Thomas Benson, Brian Fay and Hayden Dumont. 

Nashua Community College and American Honda

Nashua Community College offers an Associate in Science degree in Honda Automotive Technology – a unique partnership that it is the only one of its kind in Northern New England and is only offered at 27 schools across the country. Working with the Professional Automotive Career Training (PACT) program of American Honda to provide a pipeline of skilled workers in the automotive industry, the program provides students with the technical skills and training to become service department professionals specializing in maintenance and repair of Honda and Acura automobiles. Students take classes in both the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation’s curriculum as well as a Honda specific curriculum. They also complete a 640-hour internship, which gets them halfway to the title of Master Technician. About 90% of students who graduate go on to work at a Honda or Acura dealership.

White Mountain Community College and healthcare organizations in the North Country

White Mountains Community College (WMCC) is filling critical Allied Health jobs in the North Country through regional partnerships with high schools and healthcare organizations including Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, North Country Health Consortium, Littleton Regional Healthcare, Memorial Hospital, Coos County Family Health Services and Weeks Medical Center. Students come to WMCC through high schools that run a career and technical education (CTE) center where they can already earn credit towards a degree or certificate within the Allied Health Department, from employers who offer job advancement based on skills enhancements, as well as those seeking to enter the workforce for the first time or change careers. The campus classroom work prepares students for professional exams, and the built-in internships give them experience in the field, allowing them to choose between many medical occupations.

NHTI - Concord’s Community College SilverTech

SilverTech and NHTI - Concord’s Community College partnered to create a pipeline to jobs in information technology. The partnership between the college and the digital marketing agency started about five years ago and functions as a senior capstone project. These projects are developed between students and SilverTech engineers during students’ last semester in which the engineer evaluates each student’s skill set, and together they develop a plan for their project. Students are well prepared by NHTI and have C-Sharp programming SQL database experience, as well as some HTML and web work experience upon graduation. This program has often led to a smooth transition to the working world, although many have gone on to work at SilverTech while continuing to earn their four-year degree in computer science.

Manchester Community College and CVS Health

CVS Health and Manchester Community College are helping close labor gaps in the community through the Pharmacy Technician Certification program that pairs classroom instruction with an externship at CVS Pharmacy, a subsidiary of CVS health. Upon completion of the program, students are ready to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. Graduates of the program have the opportunity interview with CVS Pharmacy for available positions, or can pursue a wide variety of other opportunities in hospitals, community pharmacies, or other healthcare settings. As pharmacy technicians, students will graduate filling a workforce gap that is expected to increase by 9% by 2024. The first group of students in the program completed the program summer of 2017.

Great Bay Community College and BAE Systems

Nashua-based BAE Systems Electronic Systems sector recently joined forces with Great Bay Community College (GBCC) and its Advanced Composites Manufacturing Certificate and Degree program. The two organizations adopted a unique arrangement designed to prepare new workers to hit the ground running in BAE Systems’ fast-growing advanced composite manufacturing department while contributing to GBCC’s curriculum, faculty professional development opportunities, and, most importantly, helping new workers transition from student status to employee. New recruits are appealing because their GBCC ACM certificate allows them to immediately make a positive impact at the company, rather than requiring months of costly training at the employer’s expense before they are qualified to set foot on the manufacturing floor.

Lakes Region Community College and BURNDY

Electrical components manufacturer BURNDY® was eager to implement an in-house apprenticeship program to grow its workforce and expand current worker skills and partnered with Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) to do so. A year in the making, the new apprenticeship program will include 4,000 hours of academic and on the job training over the course of two years for BURNDY employees. The program is being taught on site at BURNDY by employees who are also adjunct faculty at LRCC. By 2020, 68% of jobs in New Hampshire will require postsecondary education and these efforts being made by BURNDY and LRCC is helping prepare the workforce for future demands.

River Valley Community College and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) partnered with River Valley Community College (RVCC) to provide customized training for their workforce of Clinical Service Representatives. Students were offered a fast track training program which occurred over the course of six weeks. They learned medical terminology, computer applications, customer service and soft skills, and upon successful completion of the training they were hired as full time employees at DHMC. The partnership was so successful that RVCC and DHMC are working to train another round of individuals in the fall and are looking to expand this effort to Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene.

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