Zenagui Brahim, president of the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NH MEP)
I want to welcome all of you to the third edition of “Cool Stuff Made In New Hampshire.” This is another year to celebrate and promote manufacturing in New Hampshire. All the 49 other states of the United States and Puerto Rico are joining us in this endeavor. Over the years, the growing number of high school and middle school student visits have clearly shown that collaboration and interaction between educational institutions and manufacturers are working.
To that extent, we are thankful for the workforce development efforts being done by the Advisory Council of NH Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NH MEP), the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, the New Hampshire Department of Education, the Community College System, The Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, as well as the New England Business media and many others.
It all started in 2012 with the first Friday in October being declared as a national day to celebrate manufacturing. In 2013, we started with NH Manufacturing Day. Then we extended it to NH Manufacturing Month, and last year we had two months of celebration. During this year, we expanded the students’ visits from October to November. Our ultimate goal is to have students visit manufacturers throughout the whole year. A number of manufacturers made this practice a way of doing business – a sign of long-term collaboration with educational institutions. We call this “connecting the dots.”
On October 5, 2018, Governor Chris Sununu proclaimed the celebration of NH Manufacturing Month 2018. During the months of October and November, the number of high school and middle school student visits reached 2,059. Sixty five manufacturers opened their doors to students from 47 high schools and middle schools and hundreds of students visited NH community colleges and the NH Career and Technology Centers (CTEs).
Some of the student comments ranged from, “I want a job in this company/field,” and “This field trip was exciting,” to “I enjoyed it a lot and would like to learn more,” and “There are many different jobs inside Titeflex.”
And so, Dear Students, here is what is happening! High school and middle school career counselors and ELOs are getting more involved with manufacturers who are excited to share with you what they do and what career and internship opportunities they have for you. We see more schools and manufacturers working together to develop manufacturing programs for you that address the needs of the industry.
I will stress one more point: What is needed here is another active partner in this equation and that is the participation of parents. Some schools have the initiative to organize events called Manufacturing Nights. In these events, neighboring manufacturers will share their workforce needs with students, their parents, and the school’s administrative staff and faculty. This is the way to go! I hope this momentum will continue to be.
Have fun reading!
Thank you to the participating organizations and institutions in this publication for your continuous support and sponsorship, and your dedication to NH workforce development efforts.