Sununu touts impact of NH School of Mechanical Trades in Hampton NH

HAMPTON – Gov. Chris Sununu said that as the state’s economy recovers from the pandemic, he expects a shortage of more than 1,500 skilled trade jobs.

He said the state must be in the best position in the region to build tomorrow’s strongest workforce.

Sununu visited the New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades Monday afternoon in Hampton to speak with high school students enrolled in a career program that exposes them to plumbing, electricity, oil and heat, and air conditioning.

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The pilot program was funded through a $ 10,000 grant received by the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Winnacunnet High School and the craft school at Towle Farm Road in Hampton.

Sununu said he hopes to use a funding block for workforce development, including expanding access to trade schools for high school students.

“The reality is that the development of the workforce is a competition & mldr; COVID was a time when many adults said, ‘Well, maybe I’m going to take a different career path,’ Sununu said. “Our goal is to stay one step ahead of the rest and we’ve been very good at that so far. Now you add the federal government investment they are making in workforce (development at the top). “

Sununu said federal guidelines on how states can spend their money as part of the ARP are still in the final stages. However, he said his hope is that the tutoring will provide as much “flexibility” as possible so that entities such as the New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades can expand their offerings and hire more instructors to increase the number of students who can enroll.

“A lot of people are starting to trade, which they may have always wanted 20 years ago, but now they are making that career change,” Sununu said. “So we are fighting not only for students but also for adults trying to retrain, and it all fits very well with my vision of aligning the community college (system) and joining the university system . “

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What is the craft school about?

The New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades offers courses for adults who wish to transition their careers into the professions and professionals who wish to enroll in continuing education courses once they have obtained their state license.

They recently partnered with high schools to give students the opportunity to be introduced to the professions before committing to any of their programs.

Currently, 16 students are enrolled in classes at the school. They are all juniors and seniors in high schools in the area: Winnacunnet, Exeter, Oyster River, Raymond and Sanborn.

Gina Millard, office manager at the New Hampshire School of Mechanical Trades, said students who complete the 12-week course receive introductory training in plumbing, electricity, air conditioning, oil and heat, and the gas field. The students attend twice a week in addition to their regular training.

Millard said the school hopes to extend the pilot program to the September and April sessions next academic year, and ARP funds could be used to hire additional instructors so they can hire more students in the future.

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Millard said a small number of the graduating seniors have found jobs to begin the internship process at various companies. She said some students will participate in a certificate course in the evenings, giving them an even greater foundation from which to take their licensing courses.

“I think students interested in becoming a plumber or electrician have a general idea of ​​what they do, but they don’t know what a plumber and electrician do every day,” said Millard. “Our goal is to help students progress to different career paths in the professions. That’s why we strengthen their math skills and provide real-world applications for them to use what they learn. “

While speaking to students, Sununu praised New Hampshire’s low unemployment rate and made the state a great place for students to stay and begin their careers.

“You’re going to learn these great skills, so please stay in New Hampshire,” Sununu told the students. “If you leave the state for a while, come back home because we definitely need you in the 603. These are not jobs, these are careers and these are really well-paying careers.”

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