EXETER – In case you missed it, Senator Maggie Hassan yesterday visited Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions to learn more about how the company’s apprenticeship program – which is made possible through a partnership with Great Bay Community College – is helping to build the skilled workforce that Cobham needs to continue to grow and thrive. Senator Hassan highlighted her bipartisan Gateway to Careers Act that would help support partnerships like the one between Great Bay Community College and Cobham to address New Hampshire’s workforce shortage.
Earlier that day, Senator Hassan also visited The River Center in Peterborough to hear from grandparents who have become the primary caregiver of their grandchildren largely as a result of the opioid epidemic. Last week, Senator Hassan introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to better support kinship caregivers – the vast majority of whom are grandparents – who have taken over as primary caregivers for children exposed to substance misuse or other trauma.
See below for coverage highlights:
By Alex LaCasse
Wanting to see an example of a manufacturing apprenticeship program flourishing, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan paid a visit to Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions to see its partnership with Great Bay Community College in action.
Hassan met with a group of Cobham apprentices to learn about their experiences Monday. Hassan was also visiting to discuss a new piece of legislation she is co-sponsoring titled the Gateway to Careers Act, which would support similar partnerships across the country.
“What we’re hearing all over the state is that businesses need workers, that they, in this high-tech environment, often need workers with a particular skill set,” Hassan said. “For students, this is a way of doing something they love. They’re getting paid to learn a new skill and then moving right into a good paying job.”
[…] Hassan said the aim of her legislation is to develop alternative pathways for individuals looking to begin a new career with future high earning potential, either in lieu of pursuing a college degree or to gain professional and technical experience in a real-world workplace before enrolling in college. Hassan said she and her fellow lawmakers were looking to draw upon the experiences of other modern economies, like Germany and Switzerland, and borrow some of their best practices for developing American apprenticeship programs.
“There is a good bi-partisan focus nationally on developing strong apprenticeship programs,” Hassan said. “We want to make sure these have uniquely American characteristics because we don’t want to pre-program people into narrow career pathways (so instead) people have options moving forward.”
By Ashley Saaeri
U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan met with grandparents raising their grandchildren and support providers in Peterborough on Monday, to gain a sense of the areas of highest priority for them.
Hassan, along with Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced a bi-partisan bill last week aimed at increasing supports for guardians taking care of relatives. It’s a growing issue, as more and more families are impacted by the opioid crises, Hassan said, while meeting with representatives from local community resource centers as well as families at the River Center in Peterborough Monday morning.
“Because of the opioid epidemic here, we are seeing a level of impact on kids we’re going to be dealing with for a long time,” Hassan said.
The bill, termed the “Help Grandfamilies Prevent Child Abuse Act” would amend the existing Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act to provide better support for children being raised by family members both within and outside of the foster care system.
Hassan asked residents what supports would have made the transition from grandparent to guardian smoother for them.
[…] Hassan said she’s spoken with school officials across the state who have reported anecdotally there are a rising number of behavioral problems, starting at a young age, that require more one-to-one paraprofessionals for behavioral issues, rather than educational ones.
While it’s not clear these issues are caused solely by students coming from families impacted by opioid or other drug abuse, it’s likely a factor, Hassan said. When speaking with ambulance personnel in Manchester, she said, she was told a story of a call where when the ambulance arrived, the patient’s 11-year-old daughter was attempting to resuscitate her, and it was the second time she’d been in that situation.
“We have never, as a state, that I know of, had a situation where we’ve had such wide-spread trauma,” Hassan said.
Wendy Hill of the River Center, who is a co-facilitator of a local support group for grandparents raising grandchildren, said there are members of her group who are dealing with children who have those behavioral issues due to trauma. It runs a wide gamut, she said, from showing defiance, aggression or destructive behavior and withdrawal.
[…] Hassan agreed there is a workforce shortage in regards to treating and preventing drug addiction and addressing the trauma it causes families, particularly in the pediatric area.
“It’s hard to build that workforce quickly,” she said.
Hassan said it would be a focus to continue to fund opioid prevention and treatment at higher levels and that prevention and intervention would be part of that effort.
By Jake Lahut
The opioid epidemic in New Hampshire has left an estimated 12,000 grandparents serving as caregivers for their grandchildren, and local support groups are calling for federal assistance.
U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., spoke with a handful of advocates and grandparents at the River Center in Peterborough Monday morning about a new bill she introduced in the Senate, and listened to their stories with a promise of relaying them to lawmakers still skeptical of allocating funds.
Families where grandparents are caring for their grandchildren because one or both parents are struggling with addiction are known as grandfamilies.
Whether the parents are out of the picture because of substance misuse or away from home while receiving treatment, Hassan told her constituents in Peterborough that her bill would extend benefits to grandfamilies to make them eligible for services under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
Co-sponsored by U.S. Sen Susan Collins, R-Maine, the Help Grandfamilies Prevent Child Abuse Act addresses the trauma children face stemming from substance misuse in the family or from elsewhere.
Sitting with local caregivers and advocates in a circle of couches, Hassan listened to their stories and tried to explain how the legislation could help, and where blind spots remain in Congress when it comes to addiction and recovery.
“We have to support you guys stepping into a system you never thought you’d have to be in,” Hassan told the grandfamilies in the Parents Room at the River Center, a family and community resource center.
[…] Hassan said she was once told by a constituent from Claremont about a 10-year-old girl who applied CPR to her mother in the midst of an overdose on two separate occasions.
“We’re building a system in the middle of the crisis, so it’s tricky, right?” Hassan said.
Organizations like the River Center and the Grapevine center offer different services in different geographic regions, but with some overlap.
[…] Hassan acknowledged challenges exist in implementing some of the solutions being discussed in the circle Monday, particularly in Medicaid reimbursement and trying to have more resources at schools, such as trauma training for teachers and expanded counseling services.
However, Nelson said she’s hopeful that Hassan’s legislation can keep the River Center’s mission growing.
“With this model, at least there’s a fighting chance.”