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Director Arvelo Honored as Distinguished Leader by Great Bay Community College

NH Division of Economic Development Director Will Arvelo honored by Great Bay Community College as a Distinguished Leader on 11/1/19. A scholarship in his name has been established at the college.

Will Arvelo, director of the Division of Economic Development, was honored earlier this month at Great Bay Community College’s annual Distinguished Leaders Gala. The following is from the evening’s program.-ED.

Dr. Wildolfo Arvelo is the director of the Division of Economic Development, which is part of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs. In this role, he works with a team that focuses on state-wide issues related to economic development and strategy; business recruitment, expansion and retention; workforce training and development; business and education outreach; and diversity and inclusion.

Prior to his appointment by Gov. Sununu, Arvelo served 33 years in leadership positions within higher education at public and private colleges. From 2007-2017, he served as president of Great Bay Community College, where he transformed the college to be outwardly focused and on developing products/programs to better serve the needs of business and industry.

Arvelo oversaw the building of the Portsmouth campus, as well as the subsequent move of the college from Stratham. In 2012, he oversaw the construction of a satellite campus in Rochester that focused on manufacturing education and in 2015, the addition of the college’s Student Success Center.

Arvelo is dedicated to the exploration of collaborations and partnerships between New Hampshire’s business and industry sector and higher education, recognizing that an educated workforce is the best hope for economic development and New Hampshire’s future.

From 2011-2015, he was principal investigator for the $20 million U.S. Department of Labor TAACCCT grant for capacity building in advance manufacturing education for New Hampshire. He also worked to enhance science, technology, engineering and math education at the college and to build articulation pathways with the University System of New Hampshire and other colleges and universities in the state. He also encouraged and supported faculty involvement in National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health efforts to increase undergraduate research at Great Bay, in partnership with Dartmouth College and UNH.

He has served on numerous regional and state-wide education, business development and non-profit boards. In 2012, the City of Portsmouth Business Chamber selected him the Citizen of the Year, citing his strong support of business and education.

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