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ApprenticeshipNH on track to hit goals

The ApprenticeshipNH program apprentices

The ApprenticeshipNH program continues to gain traction and is on track to hit goals for helping NH businesses upskill employees.

In the five sectors the program serves, ApprenticeshipNH continues to be a valuable tool for New Hampshire companies looking for workforce resources during a period of unprecedented low unemployment. In 2018, the program more than doubled in terms of employer participation. It has seen a strong start to 2019 with five new partnerships starting up in the first two months of the year.

ApprenticeshipNH is a grant-funded effort that seeks to address workforce needs in New Hampshire through a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Participating sectors include hospitality, construction & infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, information technology and healthcare. It is operated through the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH).

Since receiving the grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in November of 2016, CCSNH has made significant progress toward its goals to help solve NH’s workforce challenges through the expansion of Registered Apprenticeships. The program expanded last fall when the hospitality and construction & infrastructure sectors were added.

Meeting and exceeding expectations

The original goals of the grant called for developing 25 new programs and registering more than 300 apprentices by the fall of 2020. As of the end of February 2019, 21 programs have been developed and have had 126 enrolled in these programs.

“We are so pleased to see the growth within these programs and to hear from employers and employees about what a valuable resource the ApprenticeshipNH program has become. Our first year was devoted to getting the word out to employers and introducing them to a new model for retraining and onboarding employees. 2018 was when we really saw traction, with 12 new programs launching at businesses across the state,” said Emily Zeien, grant manager for ApprenticeshipNH at CCSNH.

Registered Apprenticeship is a work-based training program that includes both classroom instruction through a NH community college and paid on-the-job training. Programs are designed to meet national standards through the U.S DOL. In addition to funding available in the grant, the ApprenticeshipNH staff works with employers to help determine eligibility for funding from other workforce development initiatives. These initiatives include the NH Job Training Fund, Workforce Opportunity Innovation Act (WOIA) and others.

The two sectors that have seen the most engagement to date are healthcare and manufacturing.

ApprenticeshipNH programs are helping healthcare and manufacturing companies address workforce needs in many distinct occupations, including:

  • Medical assistant (MA)
  • Maintenance machinist
  • Non-destructive testing
  • CNC operator
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Licensed nursing assistant (LNA)

Employers across the state benefitting from the program include:

  • Stonyfield Organic, Londonderry
  • LRGHealthcare, Laconia
  • Safran Aerospace, Rochester
  • Spraying Systems, Merrimack
  • CVS Health in Manchester
  • The North Country Healthcare Consortium, Berlin, Littleton and Lancaster
  • Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions, Exeter

“The Registered Apprenticeship program allows us to work towards addressing the workforce issues we face as a company,” said Farah Ahadi, HR business partner at Cobham. “Finding job candidates with the necessary skills has become increasingly more difficult and the ApprenticeshipNH program enables us to create qualified candidates so we can fill vacant positions. It also offers us the opportunity to demonstrate our dedication to our employees by offering them the chance to improve their skills and explore additional, more advanced career paths.”

ApprenticeshipNH works for these employers because it helps them stay competitive by ensuring they have the skilled, qualified staff needed. ApprenticeshipNH also helps companies provide their employees with a career path to gain training they need to move up within the company.

“The ‘earn and learn’ model of apprenticeship works well for our participants because they are an employee from day one, are receiving a good income with growth opportunities, and their employer is sponsoring their education path as a component of the job. It’s a win-win for employers and employees and we’re so pleased about the program’s growth and track record,” Zeien said.

Providing opportunities for employees

The program has helped a wide range of individuals advance in their careers and increases earning potential. This includes individuals who were unemployed and receiving public assistance, recent high school graduates and individuals of all ages who are making a career change. Many began these programs with no education beyond a high school diploma, and through apprenticeship have the opportunity to work towards a certificate or degree at one of New Hampshire’s seven community colleges.

If you are an employer looking to start a program, click here.

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