Senator Hassan Discusses Importance of Supporting Career Pathways, Workforce Development with Industry Leaders at Nashua Community College
NASHUA – Senator Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire educators, business and community leaders, and students discussed the important role career pathways and workforce development play in expanding middle class opportunity at a roundtable discussion today at Nashua Community College.
Senator Hassan was joined by Lucille Jordan, president of Nashua Community College; Ross Gittell, chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire; Kermit Kaleba, federal policy director of the National Skills Coalition; Katie Merrow, vice president of community impact for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Kim Cadorette, director of operations for BAE; and Brighton Palmer, a recent Nashua Community College graduate and BAE employee.
Senator Hassan recently proposed and introduced the Gateway to Careers Act to expand economic opportunity for hard-working Granite Staters and provide innovative businesses with the strong workforce they need to thrive. The Gateway to Careers Act would support career pathways strategies, which combine work, education, and support services to help individuals earn industry-recognized credentials.
“Supporting career pathways and workforce development initiatives is critical to expanding opportunity for hard-working Granite Staters and strengthening our workforce so that our innovative businesses can thrive,” Senator Hassan said. “The Gateway to Careers Act would support and expand upon innovative partnerships that are already underway between Nashua Community College and businesses in the region, strengthening job training and removing barriers that prevent too many people from participating in the workforce. I will keep working to move this bill forward so that all Granite Staters who work hard can get ahead and stay ahead.”
“The Community College System of New Hampshire is committed to supporting career pathways and workforce development programs to help our students develop the skills they need to grow and lead in the workforce,” said Ross Gittell, chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire. “Senator Hassan’s Gateway to Careers Act would support and expand upon efforts underway statewide, and I thank her for her commitment to the success of our students and our state’s economy.”
“The federal government has an important role to play in supporting career pathways, which will help build a stronger workforce for businesses in New Hampshire and throughout the country,” said Kermit Kaleba, federal policy director of the National Skills Coalition. “The National Skills Coalition fully endorses Senator Hassan’s Gateway to Careers Act, which is a key part of those efforts, and we hope to see it move forward quickly.”
“Research shows that 65 percent of the adult workforce in New Hampshire will require some meaningful credential or post-secondary degree by 2025 in order to meet the demands of the state’s economy,” Katie Merrow, vice president of community impact for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation said. “By partnering with business, education leaders, the Business and Industry Association, our donors, and many others, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is committed to achieving that goal and we are grateful for the leadership of Senator Hassan, other members of our federal delegation, and other elected officials as we work together to help Granite Staters develop the skills and achieve credentials needed to build our 21st century workforce.”
The Gateway to Careers Act would provide grants to support partnerships between community or technical colleges and workforce development partners such as state workforce development boards, industry associations, and community-based organizations. These partnerships would support individuals who are unemployed or underemployed by strengthening job training and removing barriers that prevent them from completing a degree or credential program and succeeding in the workforce, including housing, mental and substance use disorder treatment, assistance in obtaining health insurance coverage, career counseling, childcare, and transportation.
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