New BURNDY advanced manufacturing training apprenticeship program brings the classroom to the company

New BURNDY advanced manufacturing training apprenticeship program brings the classroom to the company

August 7, 2017

New BURNDY advanced manufacturing training apprenticeship program brings the classroom to the company

Partnership leverages employees as Lakes Region Community College faculty to enhance traditional “train the trainer” approaches

Littleton, NH – When electrical components manufacturer BURNDY® wanted to launch an in-house apprenticeship program to grow its workforce and expand current worker skills, Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) was the company’s first call. A year in the making, the new apprenticeship program is now ready to launch, and will include 4,000 hours of academic and on the job training over the course of two years for BURNDY employees.

“The way we build parts is changing rapidly because innovation and automation is making manufacturing more precise and efficient, but what hasn’t changed is the requirement for smart and well-trained people driving the process,” said Paul Pinkham, senior human resources manager at BURNDY. “We have current employees eager to learn new skills and dozens of job openings for technical-minded machinists, engineers, or anyone interested in a career at the forefront of manufacturing technology.”

BURNDY has a relationship in place with White Mountains Community College but the resources of the entire community college system are available to meet unique training needs that match each college’s specific offerings.  As such, the idea for a unique partnership with Lakes Region Community College arose during a May 2016 tour of BURNDY’s facility with representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor and its Apprenticeship USA initiative, along with Mike Labrecque, manufacturing program coordinator at LRCC and others from the community college. If they could incorporate curriculum from LRCC’s existing Advanced Manufacturing Certificate and Associate Degree Program to bring theory and skills training under BURNDY’s roof, the combination of academic and hands-on lab work would satisfy the company’s training needs. Complimentary to that, it would also meet the college’s credit and enrollment requirements, and Apprenticeship USA’s guidelines for an approved apprenticeship program, which comes with support and resources. Better yet, the curriculum had already been approved for another training program with Watts Water Technologies in Franklin, New Hampshire, further streamlining the program.

When logistics posed a potential problem for BURNDY employees to travel to LRCC in Laconia, apprenticeship organizers knew they had to find a way to make the program convenient. Labrecque learned that several BURNDY employees were also adjunct faculty at LRCC, making a “train the trainer” model not only possible, but a preferred way for current employees to take classes from LRCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Program at BURNDY, and apply the credits to an associate’s degree at LRCC later on, should they choose to.

“BURNDY needed to take a different path to develop the skills in their workforce, so they looked to the US Department of Labor to create an apprenticeship program at both their Lincoln and Littleton New Hampshire facilities,” said Labrecque.

Professional development for employees has played an important role in BURNDY’s commitment for continuous improvement of its products and services. Headquartered in, Manchester, New Hampshire, BURNDY has three U.S. manufacturing sites along with one each in Mexico and Brazil, and offices in Littleton and Londonderry, New Hampshire, among others across North America. For more than 85 years, BURNDY has manufactured connectors, fittings and tools for electrical utilities, contractors, maintenance and repair companies, and the telecommunication and renewable energies markets.

“We emphasize the ‘community’ in community college, by integrating learning wherever possible,” said LRCC’s Labrecque. “We are hearing from business owners that they need new workers and help training up their existing workforce, and that the old way just wasn’t going to produce the results they needed. The apprenticeship model can be a great fit in some cases and by tapping into the Apprenticeships USA –NH program, we found the resources to make this partnership possible.”

Projections indicate that 68 percent of jobs in New Hampshire will require educational attainment beyond high school by 2020. However, present trajectories indicate that far less than 68 percent of New Hampshire’s workforce will reach that educational bar without a drastic shift in workforce training approaches.

Word about the newest approach to apprenticeships travels fast, and soon Labrecque met partners who wanted to help make the Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Program’s classes available to high school students through a Running Start program. The classes are now available across the state at Kennet High School in North Conway and the Huot Career and Technical Center in Laconia. Not only will the training be consistent and informed by the industry itself, but NH’s community colleges are providing new ways for students to learn about technology and manufacturing careers before they make their decisions about higher education and post-graduation plans.

To learn more about integrating a Lakes Region Community College program into your company’s human resources, training, or workforce development practices, contact Andy Duncan, Workforce Development Coordinator at  or 603-524-3207. Learn more about LRCC and its Advanced Manufacturing Certificate and Advanced Manufacturing Associates Degree programs at or contact Michael Labrecque at or 603-393-3962

About LRCC

Lakes Region Community College is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire that serves over 1,200 students annually. LRCC offers 28 associate degree programs including Nursing, Fire Technology, Business, Media Arts, Culinary Arts, Automotive, and Marine Technology, as well as short-term certificate programs. In addition, LRCC provides a strong background in Liberal Arts for students who choose to do their first two years at a community college and then transfer to a four-year college or university for a baccalaureate degree.  LRCC is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the "65 by 25 Initiative," which calls for 65% of NH citizens to have some form of postsecondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.