January 18, 2017

by Bob Keyes

GBCC Expands Short-Term Training Programs  

Offered at Advanced Technology & Academic Center in Rochester

Six-week and six-month programs include ACM, NDT, HVAC, CNC and Medical Assistant

ROCHESTER – At Great Bay Community College, short-term training leads to long-term success.

To strengthen its ties to New Hampshire job creators, Great Bay is offering boot camps and short-term training programs in high-tech and high-demand fields to help fill immediate job openings and prepare students for good careers. The courses range from six weeks to six months, and are designed to respond quickly to the needs of business and industry in New Hampshire and across the region, said Great Bay President Wildolfo Arvelo.

“As a result of the workforce shortage or misalignment, business and industry want their needs addressed yesterday,” Arvelo said. “Employers cannot wait a year or two. They need people now.”

Short-term training courses are available in Advance Composite Materials, Medical Assistant, CNC Operator Training, HVAC and other specialty areas, said Sean Clancy, associate vice president of Corporate and Community Education.

Short-term certificate programs address the needs of business and industry by quickly creating a pool of qualified employees, and they benefit students by preparing them for careers with a low-cost investment. Because the courses are short-term, they cost less than a degree program. They also create a platform for further education. The short-term certificates are designed to work in tandem with Great Bay’s two-year degree programs.

“More and more, we are making sure the short-term programs are tied to other certificate or degrees down the road, so people can come back to Great Bay as they integrate into their career and want to learn more or are looking for a promotion,” Arvelo said.

The Advanced Composites Manufacturing course last six months, and attracts about 50-60 students annually. The next course begins in February. ACM makes up about 19% of New Hampshire’s economy, and continues to grow.

The ACM program at Great Bay prepares students with skills and knowledge required for jobs in the fields of composites manufacturing and aerospace. Students work in a modern, clean, hands-on training lab while learning and applying skills critical for success.

The program has two levels. The introductory level provides students with an overview of advanced composites manufacturing and helps them select an area of specialization based on interest, ability and job outlook. At the second level, students complete general fundamental manufacturing courses and concentrated courses of study leading to machine operator certificates.

According to Debra Mattson, Advanced Materials Manufacturing Program Director/Designer at the College’s Advanced Technology and Academic Center, students in the ACM and other programs are in high demand and are guaranteed an interview with two NH companies prior to program completion.

“The credit certificate programs including Advanced Composites, Nondestructive Testing and CNC are designed with industry input to provide students with relevant skills and knowledge up front” said Mattson.  “Our graduates are prepared to get to work quickly.” While working in a new field, Mattson explains, students also have the option of continuing their education further developing the skills that support career advancement.   “Great Bay offers several Directed Pathways within our associate degree and we are able to customize these pathways to meet a student’s end goal.”

Arvelo expects enrollment in the short-term ACM program to remain robust. “Our numbers will continue to grow as more and more businesses learn about what we offer. We have the only advanced composites programs in New Hampshire, and with a focus on aerospace, we are the only program of its kind in northern New England. And now we are moving into Nondestructive Testing, another high demand technical specialty that will benefit many manufacturers in NH” he said.

The programs are offered at the College’s Advanced Technology & Academic Center in Rochester. Increasingly, the Rochester campus is becoming the home base of the short-term classes. Great Bay opened the campus in 2012, and continues to add programs, Arvelo said.

“The short-term classes are spread between both campuses, but the vision for Rochester is for it to become our manufacturing and short-term training hub,” he said.

Among the most-popular short-term non-credit programs is an eight-week CNC boot camp, Clancy said. The next one begins Jan. 23. Another begins April 17.  “It continues to grow in popularity,” Clancy said.

The CNC Boot Camp program prepares students for employment with the potential to enter a registered apprenticeship program. CNC has demonstrated success in training and employing professionals, specifically for technical jobs, Clancy said, noting that CNC operators play a major role in producing consumer and industrial products alike.  About 50 students complete the program each year.

The short-term Medical Assistant program also is popular, with four 12-week programs offered annually. The next begins in February. Great Bay offers this program in partnership with Exeter Core Physicians Services, Wentworth-Douglass Physician Corp., Appledore Medical Group, Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Martin’s Point Health Care and various private physician practices. It includes classroom instruction, hands-on lab experiences, and on-site internships.  Upon completion, students are eligible to sit for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant national examination.

In addition to the technical programs, non-credit professional development courses in Supervision and Business Communication will also be offered.  Courses including Frontline Supervision, Smart Supervision for Managers and Team Performance are designed for people who would like hands-on, interactive training that will increase their level of skills in supervision, management, customer service and sales.

The short-term programs are ideal for recent high school graduates seeking specialized skills and training, as well as people who are unemployed or under-employed or who want a different direction in their career, Clancy said.

“If you want a new career, come to ATAC. If you want a new job, come to ATAC,” he said.

For more information on the new short-term offerings visit www.greatbay.edu/shortterm.

Great Bay Community College is a comprehensive postsecondary institution offering quality academic and professional and technical education in support of workforce development and lifelong learning. Great Bay Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, a public system of higher education consisting of seven colleges in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth.  The colleges offer Associate degrees and career training in technical, professional and general fields, including transfer pathways to baccalaureate degrees. The college’s second campus, the Advanced Technology & Academic Center is open in Rochester offering academic courses and a degree program in Advanced Composites Manufacturing.   For more information on Great Bay Community College, visit www.greatbay.edu.