Community College System of NH Celebrates Manufacturing Week Through Partnerships

Community College System of NH Celebrates Manufacturing Week Through Partnerships

October 17, 2016

Community College System of NH Celebrates Manufacturing Week Through Partnerships

By: CCSNH Chancellor Ross Gittell

New Hampshire joined 49 states to celebrate Manufacturing Week through events, tours, student engagement and more. The celebration is intended to shine a brighter light on manufacturing, on career opportunities and on many companies that serve as economic engines for our economy.

What fuels growth for these companies? Besides good management and products, it’s a skilled workforce. In celebration of manufacturing week, I want to share some success stories of business partnerships across the seven campuses of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) that demonstrate how we can come together in innovative ways to train and retrain our workforce for the many quality opportunities that exist in our manufacturing and high-tech sectors.

Here are some examples – just a few of the many ways the community colleges work with NH industry to meet workforce needs in the Granite State:

White Mountains Community College in northern NH has developed a unique collaborative effort among Littleton High School, New England Wire, Burndy, Rotobec, and Genfoot America to teach in high demand skills in technical manufacturing. The noncredit course, taught in the evenings to make it more accessible to all, focuses on three areas: AutoCAD Inventor, hierarchical storage management (HSM), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software; and using the AutoCAD model to create a 3D prototype. Having these skills will open up quality job opportunities among the companies that helped develop this collaboration.

Since 2012, River Valley Community College in Claremont has been working closely with Hypertherm to help meet ongoing workforce needs initially through on the job training to develop skilled advanced manufacturing employees. The customized curriculum covers skills in blueprint reading, machine tool match, and CNC machining. Those successfully completing the program are guaranteed employment at Hypertherm and can earn credits for the coursework towards an Advanced Manufacturing Certificate. More than 150 people have gone through this program to date and have been hired by Hypertherm.

NHTI-Concord’s Community College recently introduced 10 new IT certificates to help students fill hundreds of unfilled, in-demand tech jobs the Granite State is clamoring for. Many companies NHTI regularly interacts with identified specific IT areas as a critical workforce needs, and the college responded by leveraging its existing IT programs to create the new certificates designed so students can efficiently acquire the knowledge and skills to succeed in related jobs.

Nashua Community College has developed a program in partnership with BAE Systems, one of NH’s largest employers, to train students for jobs in the high-skill microelectronics field.  The program is offered as an intensive bootcamp designed to meet industry demands by teaching students basic military standards and assembly techniques for radio frequency and microwave electronic assemblies. The 10-week program meets 40 hours per week and prepares participants to begin an entry level wire bonding position. Upon successful completion, students are guaranteed an interview at BAE Systems.  The first cohort of students graduated earlier this month and a second cohort is scheduled to start Oct. 31. 

Manchester Community College and Hitchiner Manufacturing in Milford have been working together to help retrain incumbent workers to fill key technical roles within the company. Hitchiner provided tuition assistance to shop floor employees to enhance their skills and advance into positions that require the ability to set up and program robotic equipment.

Lakes Region Community College has partnered with Franklin-based Watts Water Technologies to run classes on site that help employees develop critical workforce skills while earning college credit. Watts Water gives back to its employees by offering this training in such areas as machine processes, CNC programming, machine tool math and blueprint reading. Employees will complete the program with a Certificate in Advanced Manufacturing from LRCC, which they can “stack” into an associate degree if they wish to continue their education.

Great Bay Community College is working with Amadeus, a leading global hospitality technology company operating out of the Pease Tradeport, to provide training to prepare students for careers at the company. This program is offered through the college’s Computer Science/Information Systems Technology department. The partnership also uses internships, job shadowing opportunities and on site presentations to truly prepare individuals for the IT workplace.

In summary, the CCSNH campuses continue to work diligently to help our state reach the goal of having 65% of our workforce attain a post secondary education credential by the year 2025 – the “65 by 25 Initiative.” By celebrating manufacturing week and embracing new ways of thinking, we can attract, retain and retrain a workforce to fuel growth and meet our 65 by 25 goals.