Gov. Hassan Thanks Community Colleges for Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships

Gov. Hassan Thanks Community Colleges for Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships

April 19, 2013

N.H. Gov. Maggie Hassan spoke about the importance of nurturing New Hampshire’s “innovation economy” during the Tri-Chambers State of the State breakfast Friday at the Frisbie Community Education and Conference Center in Rochester. In doing so, she thanked Great Bay Community College for its leadership with the Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships in Education.

“New Hampshire must lead the way in the innovative future and economy,” Hassan said at the event hosted by the Dover, Rochester and Somersworth Chambers of Commerce. She cited priorities such as attracting cutting-edge businesses to the state.

But to be a leader, she said, New Hampshire must ensure it has the strongest workforce in the nation. And that requires plenty of opportunities for residents to build technical skills, especially in manufacturing, the state’s largest and most economically influential industry.

“It’s really extraordinary, the capacity we have,” Hassan said. “But advanced manufacturing requires skills that are high tech.”

Great Bay and New Hampshire’s six other community colleges  answered the call for help from advanced manufacturers who cited a dire need for a highly skilled workforce by working in close collaboration with entrepreneurs to design dozens of training and education programs focusing on science, technology, engineering and math skills. The lack of STEM skills in prospective employees, entrepreneurs have said, are a major challenge for high-tech manufacturers otherwise poised for growth.

Community College System of NH programs focus on advanced manufacturing sectors such as computer-numerical controlled machining; composites; robotics, automation and mechatronics; welding; and precision manufacturing.

Educators, work force development organizations and businesses must work together to tailor what they’re doing in STEM to the needs of the businesses community, Hassan said; leveraging industry/education partnerships in work force development is a “critical” step toward laying the groundwork for companies looking to expand or move to New Hampshire.

Progress can be seen first-hand, said the governor, in the partnership between Great Bay Community College and high-tech composites manufacturing companies Safran and Albany Engineered Composites, which are working together to develop composites manufacturing curricula. Great Bay will open its second campus, the Advanced Technology & Academic Center in Rochester, in May.

“Thank you,” Hassan said, turning her attention to Great Bay Community College President Will Arvelo, under whose leadership she said the college is doing a great job nurturing industry/education partnerships. “We are learning from you.”

Curricula were developed and labs opened or updated at each of CCSNH’s seven colleges with funding from a federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant, and Hassan said the state must take a cue from the federal government and focus sharply on initiatives such as AMPed, which are vital to attracting innovative businesses and strengthening the vibrant high tech industry in New Hampshire.

Hassan cited, under her leadership, the restoration of educational funds cut from the state budget and a commitment from the state’s colleges and universities to freeze tuition as part of the private/public effort to make training and educational programs more accessible to the state’s families.

 “We can’t lose young people (to other states) or fail to grow the work force,” Hassan said, adding we “must unlock the talent and energy in every person and … come together, solve problems and move our state forward.

“Let’s seize this innovative moment, invest in critical things and remind the world we are the best state in the best country in the world.”

For more information about NH’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships in Education, visit www.ccsnh.edu and click on “Learn More” in the Advanced Manufacturing tab.