The below feature appeared in the May 2020 “Government Contracting Matters” newsletter of the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs, NH Procurement Technical Assistance Center. 

In recent years, most if not all, New Hampshire companies have experienced frustration with accessing sufficient, suitably skilled workers. Ours has been a full employment economy, with qualified workers scarce and highly valued. We have become uncomfortably aware of how many of our key employees were nearing retirement, and our workforce concerns seemed to be limiting our future prospects. Today, we are experiencing a sudden shift to double-digit unemployment. For some sectors, particularly those with large federal government markets, this presents an opportunity to reshape our workforce. If we are to make rapid progress, companies will need to take a leadership role. The Community College System of New Hampshire is preparing itself to take on much of the training work, but it needs your input and support. Now is the time to begin envisioning your future workforce, and engage with institutions such as CCSNH. We asked the Community College System: What can New Hampshire businesses do today, and in the coming months, to help assure that their workforce is a good match for their present and future needs? Here are excerpts from Director of Communications Shannon Reid’s reply:
1.  Figure out what your training needs are and who needs to be trained.
2.  Contact your local community college, which can partner with you to develop training programs, at times, places and delivery modes that make sense for your business.
3.  Businesses should be thinking about their industry, and how they can partner with other businesses in their industry to support students in the programs that best match their workforce need. 
4.  Similarly, businesses should think about ways they can work with community colleges to promote their industry as an ideal destination for students. Do you wish more people would be interested in a career in X industry? Work with the community college to show prospective students why the industry is a good one.
5. Offer to join the program advisory board at your local community college for the program that best matches your workforce need. It can provide insight on workforce trends, curriculum, and also give the businesses a great lens and recruiting opportunity.  Here are the appropriate points of contact at each of our Community Colleges:

Great Bay Community College
Lynn Szymanski
Business Training Center Program Manager

Lakes Region Community College
Andy Duncan
Workforce Development Coordinator

Manchester Community College
Kris Dudley
Director, Workforce Development Center

Nashua Community College
Jon Mason
Corporate, Community, and Continuing Education Coordinator

NHTI Concord’s Community College
Allison Mollica
Coordinator of Business Training and Workforce Development
603-271-6484 x4422

River Valley Community College
Dan Osborn
Coordinator of Workforce Development
603-542-7744 x5347

White Mountains Community College
Tamara Roberge
Coordinator of Workforce Development & Community Education

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