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Archive for October, 2013

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Monday, October 28th, 2013

Today’s blog comes to you from our friends at AMPed NH.

Innovation’s been the name of the game where the New Hampshire community colleges’ AMPed NH is concerned. And now AMPed NH is taking innovation in workforce development to a whole new level. It’s offering tuition-free courses and myriad academic and professional support services to as many as 2,000 new students who enroll in a core advanced manufacturing certificate program.

The Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships in Education is an initiative of New Hampshire’s seven community colleges, advanced manufacturers, state agencies and others formed to increase the highly skilled workforce through targeted training and education programs. It is funded by a $20 million TAACCCT grant from the U.S. DOL Employment and Training Administration.

AMPed NH is offering tuition-free courses to 2,000 students enrolling in a core advanced manufacturing certificate program.

AMPed NH is offering tuition-free courses to 2,000 students enrolling in a core advanced manufacturing certificate program.

AMPed NH has developed dozens of industry driven and approved training and education programs that directly meet the high-tech needs of New Hampshire’s advanced manufacturers. Its approach mirrors that of the industry itself: Lean. Clean. Precise. Smart. Students are taught the exact science, technology, math and engineering skills identified by manufacturers as necessary for success. In the colleges’ updated labs, students use state-of-the-art virtual machines before advancing into work with the same types of cutting-edge equipment used on professional design and production floors. The goal: A seamless transition from classroom to career.

Sector-specific certificate and associate degree programs build skills in concentrations such as mechatronics and automation/robotics, advanced composites manufacturing, engineering technology, advanced machine tool technologies, electronics and electromechanics and advanced welding, and satisfy the very specific skill-set needs of those sectors.  But the community colleges also identified a common thread in the concerns expressed by NH’s manufacturers; a gap had developed in a core set of universal advanced manufacturing skills as technology advanced faster than the competencies of the workforce.

The innovative solution? Develop a core-curriculum certificate program to build the highly skilled workforce, then strip away the major barriers faced by students and job seekers considering enrollment.

With that, the Applied Career Fundamentals for Advanced Manufacturing Certificate was designed to prepare students for successful entry into the advanced manufacturing industry.

“The Applied Career Fundamentals for Advanced Manufacturing Certificate, and the decision by the community colleges to offer courses tuition-free for a limited time accelerates the enhancement of the pipeline,” said Ross Gittell, chancellor of NH’s community colleges. “This approach — which represents another innovation designed to bolster the NH economy— should generate interest statewide.”

Based on government competency models and industry feedback, the certificate program builds skills in science, math, composition, communication, business fundamentals and computer skills. Students will also select two manufacturing elective courses to round out the requirements. Credit awarded in the program will be fully transferrable between New Hampshire’s community colleges and may later be counted toward associate degree requirements.

Top concerns for job seekers and prospective students include cost, accessibility and fear of the technical nature of the program. To address these, classes within the advanced manufacturing core are available in online, traditional classroom and hybrid formats. Twenty-four-hour online academic support and networking resources are available through AMPedNH Connect and, finally, the colleges are solving the cost issue by offering one course per new student tuition-free for a limited time.

By offering the first course within the advanced manufacturing core tuition-free to up to 2,000 students systemwide, AMPed NH aims to accelerate the growth of the pipeline of highly-skilled advanced manufacturing workers in the state and throughout New England.

“This initiative should help to level the playing field for those who are interested in entering advanced manufacturing but who feel they do not know where the entry point is,” said Will Arvelo, president of Great Bay Community College and administrator for the TAACCCT grant. “We hope many will take advantage of getting on this path that will lead to well-paying jobs in New Hampshire.”

To learn more about the certificate program and how to enroll, contact the admissions office at your local New Hampshire community college. To learn more about AMPed NH and its full complement of training and education programs, visit www.ampednh.com.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development

Talking About the Tech Tax (NH Businesses Should Listen)

Monday, October 7th, 2013

The Tech Tax has been the talk south of the New Hampshire border for the past two months and although it appears that Massachusetts law makers are working on a repeal of the tax, Granite State businesses may want to keep an ear to the ground about another looming tax that could have an impact.

Our friends at the New Hampshire High Technology Council takes it from here …

New tax legislation adopted by Massachusetts this past summer will impact many technology and services companies in New Hampshire and across the country. While a sales and use tax to computer design and software modification services, dubbed the ‘tech tax,’ was repealed in late September, another, less noticed, law changing how the income tax applies to service businesses will have far reaching impacts on New Hampshire companies.


Kathryn Michaelis and Chris Way of the NH Division of Economic Development talked about the tech tax on WTPL last month.

The New Hampshire High Tech Council is sponsoring a special breakfast seminar this Wednesday to focus on the new income tax law.  The event is co-sponsored by the law firm Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C., and the presentation will be led by tax attorneys Bill Ardinger, Chris Sullivan and Kathy Michaelis.

This educational seminar will run from 8 until 9:15 am in the Pandora Building at the University of New Hampshire’s Manchester campus. It is free for Council members and $10 for non-members. Individuals can register at nhhtc.org.

“We are relieved that the ‘tech tax’ on services being provided in Massachusetts has been repealed. However, the second tax is more onerous as it could impact any New Hampshire tech-related business providing services across the border directly or virtually,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the Council.

According to an analysis prepared by Rath, Young and Pignatelli, the new income tax change, known as “market based sourcing,” will affect thousands of New Hampshire businesses providing services to Massachusetts customers. Potentially impacted businesses include financial services, accounting, architectural and law firms, software and technology firms, construction and engineering firms, and other consulting or service-based industries.

The income tax change takes effect Jan. 1.  The Massachusetts Department of Revenue is drafting rules in the next few months regarding how the new law will be implemented and enforced.

 Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development






Celebrating Manufacturing in the Granite State

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Manufacturing Day is coming up on Friday and while it may not be a greeting card holiday, it is a celebration and observance of a sector that is vital to just about everything in our lives.

Take a moment and look at what’s within your arm’s reach. The computer on which you are reading this; computer accessories – a card reader, a keyboard; a telephone, landline and/or cell phone; a coffee cup; one of those little stress gizmos.

All these items, seen and unseen, were manufactured. The need for these components creates jobs. The payroll from these jobs supports other local businesses and the tax base helps to better our schools and communities.

So Manufacturing Day is a reason to celebrate. Here in New Hampshire, it will kick off Manufacturing Week beginning Monday and this will be an opportunity to showcase the industry.

Consider this: In 2012, about 66,000 people were employed in manufacturing, earning an average of $1,220 a week. Consider that average weekly wage for other workers was $938.

There is a great demand for workers, not only here in New Hampshire, but around the country. As part of Manufacturing Week, more than 60 manufacturers, community colleges and technical centers are making arrangements with local schools to welcome students and show them what 21st century manufacturing is like.


Manufacturing Day ~ Oct. 4
Manufacturing Week ~ Oct. 7 -11

There are exciting opportunities right here in the Granite State and, especially if you are the parent of a high school student exploring what to do after graduation, we hope you will connect with one of these open houses.

Manufacturing Week culminates on Oct. 10 with the 11th annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit, taking place at the Radisson Hotel/Center of New Hampshire in Manchester.

The theme is Manufacturing Matters and workshops will cover value stream mapping and modeling; positioning for growth and an introduction of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium. Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative, will speak about manufacturing jobs returning to the US.

The Division of Economic Development is pleased join the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the New Hampshire High Technology Council in presenting this event.

Please take a moment and register today to join us.

Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development