For Immediate Release
January 14, 2013
CONCORD – Calling for continued support for New Hampshire's community colleges in order to build a stronger workforce that will attract innovative businesses and good jobs, Governor Maggie Hassan delivered the keynote address this morning before a gathering of more than 600 people at the Community College System of New Hampshire's 2013 Symposium at the New Hampshire Technical Institute.
"Every citizen, regardless of circumstance, should have the opportunity to hold a good job, work hard, raise a family, and share in the high quality of life we enjoy in New Hampshire," said Governor Hassan. "Our ability to achieve this goal lies in our willingness to innovate - in government, in the private sector, and in educating our workforce."
Hassan praised New Hampshire's community colleges for their forward-thinking efforts to prepare workers for jobs in the innovation economy.
"New Hampshire's community college system is leading the way, developing innovative, nimble and cutting-edge programs to educate our citizens and provide them with the skills they need to secure high-quality jobs," the Governor said. "And you have done so without losing sight of the need to maintain affordability for the 27,000 students you serve each year. I applaud you for freezing tuition for the past two years and hope to work with you to continue that freeze."
"In today's economy, the work you are doing is more important than ever," Governor Hassan added. The fact that your enrollment has doubled over the last decade is evidence that you are meeting a great demand in our economy for skilled workers."
Hassan also outlined how her "Innovate NH" jobs plan focuses on higher education, including supporting New Hampshire's public colleges and universities and embracing their call to double the number of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates by 2025.
"You're already doing so much to help prepare our workforce, and I want to help you continue your innovative efforts by working to implement my innovation plan," Governor Hassan said. "I know that to attract new businesses to our state, we must ensure they have access to a pipeline of workers with the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow. My Innovate NH jobs plan is focused on supporting our educational systems so we can build a stronger workforce that's ready for the 21st century economy. It starts with beginning to restore cuts to both our community colleges and universities so we can ensure an affordable and accessible higher education for more of New Hampshire's people."
The 2013 CCSNH Symposium, with the theme of "Working Toward Student Success & Economic Relevance," is intended to bring together faculty, staff and administrators from each of the system's seven campuses across the state to share best practices and increase collaboration in order to better provide students with the skills they need for success in the 21st century economy.
Governor Hassan's full keynote address to the CCSNH Symposium is below.
Governor Maggie Hassan
2013 CCSNH Symposium
Keynote Address, As Prepared for Delivery
January 14, 2013
Thank you Susan Huard for that kind introduction.
Thank you Ross Gittell for your hard work and innovative leadership of our community college system, including reviving this symposium. I know that today is another important step forward for the community college system.
Thank you Paul Holloway for your leadership on the board of trustees and your steadfast advocacy for our community colleges.
And thank you as well to all of you for participating today. More importantly, thank you for all that you do to ensure our workforce has the skills needed for success in the 21st century economy.
As your Governor, I am focused on bringing people together to build a stronger, more innovative New Hampshire, a New Hampshire where all of our citizens are included in our shared success and prosperity.
Every citizen, regardless of circumstance, should have the opportunity to hold a good job, work hard, raise a family, and share in the high quality of life we enjoy in New Hampshire. When they do, they become empowered and our state grows stronger.
Our ability to achieve this goal lies in our willingness to innovate – in government, in the private sector, and in educating our workforce.
But I know I don't need to be telling you that.
Because New Hampshire's community college system is leading the way, developing innovative, nimble and cutting edge programs to educate our citizens and provide them with the skills they need to secure high quality jobs.
And, you have done so without losing sight of the need to maintain affordability for the 27,000 students you serve each year. I applaud you for freezing tuition for the past two years and hope to work with you to continue that freeze.
In today's economy, the work you are doing is more important than ever. The fact that your enrollment has doubled over the last decade is evidence that you are meeting a great demand in our economy for skilled workers.
Increasingly, jobs require more than just a high school education, and our community colleges are helping people at all stages of their lives access critical training and develop needed skills.
People with training from community colleges, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, earn more than those with only a high school diploma. This is a critical reality that we need to make clear to our young people and their parents.
I know that the work you do has a direct impact on the well-being of our citizens.
Over the past months, I have travelled across the state and seen first-hand many of the innovative programs that you have developed.
I've seen the successful Energy Services and Technology program at Lakes Region Community College, which is giving students hands-on training for jobs in the rapidly expanding field of energy services and technologies.
I've seen the success of the partnership between Great Bay Community College and Albany Engineered Composites/Safran USA in Rochester. Our ability to develop a pipeline of workers for Albany/Safran helped attract these high-tech manufacturers to our state, where they are now expected to create 400 or more high-quality manufacturing jobs at the Granite State Business Park in Rochester.
Our commitment to workforce training tailored to Albany/Safran's needs was critical to their decision to expand in New Hampshire.
And I launched my campaign for Governor at Manchester Community College, which has been a strong participant in our WorkReadyNH program, helping job seekers improve their skills and gain a nationally recognized credential – for free.
By aligning your programs with the needs of innovative businesses that are already here and looking to hire, you're helping to place your students in good jobs that can support middle class families.
And by looking at the industries that are growing across our state, region and nation, you're helping to attract new companies to keep our economy strong.
Through your innovative programs and partnerships, I know that you don't just respond to needs, but you have the foresight to anticipate where they will develop and then to plan accordingly.
You're already doing so much to help prepare our workforce, and I want to help you continue your innovative efforts by working to implement my innovation plan.
I know that to attract new businesses to our state, we must ensure that they have access to a pipeline of workers with the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
My Innovate NH jobs plan is focused on supporting our educational systems so we can build a stronger workforce that's ready for the 21st century economy.
It starts with beginning to restore cuts to both our community colleges and state university systems so we can ensure an affordable and accessible higher education for more of New Hampshire's people.
It calls for encouraging more New Hampshire students to pursue STEM education and STEM careers. I applaud the ambitious goal that you and our university system have set to double our STEM graduates by 2025, a goal I believe we should all embrace and make achieving a statewide priority.
At the same time, we must ensure that at each step along the way, our educational systems are providing students with the skills, knowledge, and innovative thinking needed in a 21st century economy.
That means working with teachers, local schools, higher education and the business community to ensure a robust and rigorous education for all of our students, including in the STEM fields, and to ensure that families understand the importance of preparing young people for advanced manufacturing and high-tech jobs.
And my plan calls for encouraging more innovative partnerships between businesses and our colleges and universities like the one between Great Bay and Albany/Safran.
I want to work with business leaders and higher education officials to encourage new strategic partnerships and to support the increase commercialization of the ideas and inventions flowing from New Hampshire's colleges and universities.
These efforts will be matched by efforts to make sure that the small start-ups who find success here always call New Hampshire home.
We'll continue work to develop business incubators near our colleges and universities – both public and private – then launch an effort to make sure that the small start-ups they generates stay in New Hampshire as they grow bigger.
And I want the talented people currently in your classrooms to graduate, have the resources to launch innovative businesses here in New Hampshire, and help our economy grow.
To seize the opportunity of innovation, we have to work together to address our challenges.
And that's why today's symposium is so important. Today you will be able to share what's working best at each of your institutions, so that students across the state can benefit from your innovative ideas.
And I want to continue to receive your input as well for how we can better prepare our workforce, because I know New Hampshire's greatest strength is our inclusion of all people who are willing to contribute their energy, talent and innovative ideas to addressing our challenges.
As part of my statewide "Innovate NH Tour," I intend to continue visiting New Hampshire's community colleges to see your programs first-hand.
And I will continue to meet with innovative companies like Albany and Safran to make sure our educational systems are meeting the needs of businesses that are looking to hire.
We've got a lot of work ahead of us to make progress for our state. It will take all of us coming together, and I hope that each and every citizen will participate.
Because that's always been the New Hampshire way, we roll up our sleeves, pitch in, and together, we move forward.
Thank you again for inviting me to speak to you today, I look forward to continuing to partner with the community college system to make New Hampshire's workforce the strongest in the country.