New grants to help expand NH’s apprenticeship program
Community colleges receive $1.7 million to boost efforts in select industries, including construction
The Community College System of New Hampshire has received two new grants totaling over $1.7 million that it says will enable the state’s community colleges to continue their Registered Apprenticeship programs that target key growth sectors through 2022.
Since receiving initial funding in 2016 from the U.S. Department of Labor to kick-start its ApprenticeshipNH program, the college system says nearly 200 people have enrolled in the program and 31 new programs have been developed across three industries – construction, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality.
In addition, programs are being developed in the information technology sector, and one of the new grants will be used to broaden the effort into automotive and biotechnology.
In the latest round of funding, $1.3 million came from the Labor Department’s Apprenticeship State Expansion program and $400,000 from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Labor. The AACC grant will enable the program to enroll an additional 450 apprentices and continue to build capacity for this pathway to job advancement.
“The goal of ApprenticeshipNH is to help address the workforce needs in New Hampshire by combining classroom instruction and on-the-job training in an earn-while-you-learn model,” said Beth Doiron, director of college access programs for CCSNH. “We have learned a lot over the past two years and believe we have refined a model that works for New Hampshire. As a result, we are confident that we can build on our current efforts by creating and expanding apprenticeship programs to provide a career pathway for hundreds more Granite Staters.”
According to Doiron, the original funding has put ApprenticeshipNH on target to create more than 300 apprentices by the October 2020. The additional funds gives the program the potential to create up to 750 apprentices by 2022.
To do this, she said, ApprenticeshipNH plans to develop pre-apprenticeship programs that provide foundational skills relevant to the industry and help connect job-seekers to apprenticeship opportunities. The program will also develop pathways designed to allow high school students to begin apprenticeship programs and connect students to employment and continued community college education upon graduation from high school.
“The additional funding will help offset tuition costs for apprentices,” said Doiron. “Most notably, this grant can also provide for supportive services to apprentices, such as childcare and transportation that could act as barriers to success.”