Portsmouth Housing Authority, Great Bay Community College Partner to Strengthen Economic Mobility of Residents

Portsmouth Housing Authority, Great Bay Community College Partner to Strengthen Economic Mobility of Residents

For Immediate Release

March 15, 2018

Portsmouth Housing Authority, Great Bay Community College Partner to Strengthen Economic Mobility of Residents

Scholarships for PHA residents to access college programs

Portsmouth, NH - The Portsmouth Housing Authority (PHA) and Great Bay Community College (GBCC) have created a unique partnership to increase access to college programs that prepare graduates for in-demand careers and can serve as the foundation for continued higher education. The program, PHAAdvance, will provide scholarships to eligible students who are residents of PHA’s two residential developments, Gosling Meadows and Wamesit Place, who enroll at GBCC.

“One of the primary goals of the Portsmouth Housing Authority is to improve the quality of life for the residents that we serve,” said Craig Welch, PHA’s Executive Director. “After over 60 years of service to the Portsmouth community, we’ve found that the best way to do that is to help provide opportunities for residents to further their skills, start good careers, increase incomes, and access resources that will help them to a brighter future.”

To achieve these objectives, the PHA is partnering with the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) and GBCC to provide students living in PHA owned and managed property with financial support for college. The PHA and CCSNH will work together to award the scholarships to eligible students who are continuing their education at GBCC. GBCC has a main campus at the Pease Tradeport where a wide variety of programs are offered, and a satellite campus in Rochester that specializes in composites manufacturing.

“The economic benefit of an associate degree or certificate program can be life-changing,” said Ross Gittell, Chancellor of CCSNH. “This is especially true of NH’s community colleges which make it a priority to align programs with in-demand careers. We applaud the Portsmouth Housing Authority for coming forward with this innovative scholarship program to support the aspirations of residents to strengthen their career prospects and lay the foundation for financial well-being.”

Qualifying students may apply through the guidance department at Portsmouth High School for grants of between $1,000 and $5,000. The size of these awards will be dependent on the number of qualified applicants seeking scholarship funds. If a student’s intended course of study is not
offered at GBCC, CCSNH can authorize students to use the scholarship at another of NH’s seven community colleges.

“Wherever you are going, community college is a great step in the right direction,” said Welch. “Great Bay Community College offers a wide variety of high-quality educational programs that can prepare graduates to jump into the skilled workforce and for students who are interested, provide a head start on attending a four-year university.”

Students can attend full or part-time, and NH’s community colleges provide flexible schedule options so education can fit around work and family responsibilities. GBCC also employs advisors who can help students define their goals, choose an educational program and apply for financial aid. Community colleges serve students of all ages, backgrounds, and aspirations – helping student meet their professional goals, through high-caliber, affordable education.

The Portsmouth Housing Authority is proud to be working with the Community College System of New Hampshire on the PHAAdvance Scholarship Program. NH’s Community Colleges are recognized for providing certificate and associate degree programs that can lead to high-wage jobs with career tracks, immediately boosting how much money you can make.

To apply, contact Shanyn Grenier in the Portsmouth High School Guidance Department at sgrenier@sau52.org or by phone at 603-436-7100.

The Community College System of NH consists of seven colleges, offering associate degree and certificate programs, professional training, transfer pathways to four-year degrees, and dualcredit partnerships with NH high schools. The System’s colleges are Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth and Rochester; Lakes Region Community College in Laconia; Manchester Community College; Nashua Community College; NHTI – Concord’s Community College; River Valley Community College in Claremont, Lebanon and Keene; and White Mountains Community College in Berlin, Littleton and North Conway. 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.

About the Portsmouth Housing Authority
For over 60 years, the Portsmouth Housing Authority has been a developer and manager of permanently affordable housing for Portsmouth families, senior citizens and people with disabilities. The PHA is the largest landlord in Portsmouth and owns and operates over 600 rental units spread among eleven different multifamily residential properties that house over 1,000 Portsmouth residents. The PHA also operates a Housing Choice Voucher program that provides housing assistance to another 400 families in the region. The PHA also hosts a Resident Services Coordination program and 21st Century Learning Center after school program.