Community College System of New Hampshire Announces Presidential Candidates Forum Series

 Candidates Invited to Discuss Health and Growth of US Economy

September 3, 2019 – The Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) today announced a series of presidential candidate forums on the health and growth of U.S. economy, hosted in collaboration with the New Hampshire Union Leader and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.  The series is intended to provide community college students, local small businesses, and New Hampshire residents the opportunity to hear candidates discuss issues of importance to our citizens and communities.

The forums will take place between September 5, 2019 and January 15, 2020 at the seven CCSNH campuses. The forums are free and open to CCSNH students, the general public, and the media.

The first forum event will feature U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and will be held on Friday, September 6, 2019 at Manchester Community College, 1066 Front Street, Manchester NH.  The event will begin at 1:30 and doors will open at 12:30.  Registration is requested at

To be invited to participate, candidates must have filed as a candidate with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), have filed or intend to file as a 2020 primary candidate with the New Hampshire Secretary of State, have a physical campaign office in New Hampshire open to the public, and have met or exceeded at least one of the following polling criteria:

  •  One percent of support in either the University of New Hampshire “Granite State Poll” or the Saint Anselm College Survey Center Poll at some point between March 1, 2019 and December 1, 2019; or
  •  A three percent average of support (RCP Average) in the “Real Clear Politics” 2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination or 2020 Republican Presidential Nomination at some point between March 1, 2019 and December 1, 2019

 Each forum will feature a single candidate in one-on-one conversation with a moderator from the New Hampshire Union Leader. The forums are intended to be neutral and nonpartisan, and will welcome questions from the audience.

“New Hampshire’s community colleges are pleased to continue to provide opportunities for NH voters to hear from candidates for the Presidency,” said CCSNH Chancellor Ross Gittell.  “As strong supporters of the Granite State’s first-in-the-nation primary and role in American politics, we encourage students and members of the public to participate in these forums and we look forward to welcoming candidates to our campuses across the state.  We’re pleased to partner with the New Hampshire Union Leader and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses on this forum series.”

The President of the New Hampshire Union Leader, Brendan McQuaid, emphasized New Hampshire’s important role in the nominating process.  “New Hampshire serves a crucial role in the nominating process as one of the few venues for true retail politics.  The New Hampshire Union Leader is proud to support these events for voters to meet candidates face to face. These opportunities help New Hampshire voters, like our readers, to stay among the best informed in the nation.”

Katherine Jollon Colsher, National Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, said, “Small business owners are vital to the American economy, employing nearly 50 percent of the workforce and creating two thirds of all new jobs. This forum will include the perspective of these entrepreneurs, which we believe is crucial to setting economic policies that benefit all Americans. We look forward to the discussion, incorporating the perspectives of small business owners, and are pleased to support this series that we hope will benefit New Hampshire residents from across the state.”

About The Community College System of New Hampshire

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 dual-credit 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 New Hampshire Union Leader

The New Hampshire Union Leader publishes the only statewide newspaper in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News deliver trusted news, information and resources connecting the Granite State. Fielding New Hampshire’s largest professional news team the Union Leader maintains the state’s largest newspaper circulation. Union Leader journalists are dedicated to reporting on the issues affecting our cities and towns, keeping a watchful eye on politics and government, and making our Granite State the most well-informed in the nation.

About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a program to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. The program operates across the U.S. through a network of more than 100 academic and community partners, and the program continues to expand. The program is now being offered in New Hampshire. It is hosted at Manchester Community College, delivered in partnership with the Community College System of New Hampshire. To date, more than 8,200 business owners have graduated from the program across all 50 states in the US, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.  Since the inception of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the national program has been a tremendous success. Sixty-seven percent of alumni report increased revenues six months after graduating, 47 percent report hiring employees during the same time period, and nearly 88 percent of graduates do business with one another. 

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