Thursday, May 10, 2018

7:30 - 11:00 a.m.

The Manchester Downtown Hotel

700 Elm Street

Manchester, NH



Workforce Development Strategies That Work

Learn how businesses are utilizing training programs along with state and federal grants to attract the talent they need to keep their business operating at its fullest potential. Keynote speaker Will Arvelo, director of the state's Division of Economic Development, will share his experience building successful programs such as the Advanced Technology & Academic Center at Great Bay Community College and provide information and guidance on how businesses can take advantage of government funding to train and accelerate the skills of current and potential employees. Following the keynote address, we will continue the conversation with a panel discussion that addresses how training programs, internships and alternative recruiting options can assist you in finding the skilled employees you are seeking. Following the panel discussion, we'll hold an idea session with local companies and organizations who have started partnerships with local schools and colleges or have created training programs to increase the number of skilled workers in their industry.

Timeline of Events

7:30 – 8:00 am: Networking/Breakfast
8:00 – 8:10 am: Opening Remarks
8:10 – 9:00 am: Keynote Address
9:00 – 9:40 am: Panel: Job Training
9:40 – 9:50 am: Break
9:50 – 11:00 am: Idea Session


Keynote Speaker

Will Arvelo, Director, Division of Economic Development

Dr. Wildolfo (Will) Arvelo is director of the Division of Economic Development for New Hampshire. Prior to his appointment by Governor Sununu, Arvelo served 33 years in leadership positions within higher education at public and private colleges. Over the past 11 years he served as president of Great Bay Community College, where he transformed the college to be outwardly focused, developing products/programs that would better serve the needs of business and industry.  He has also worked to build articulation pathways with the University System of New Hampshire as well as other New Hampshire colleges and universities.

Winning Strategies Panel


Jeff Feingold, Editor, NH Business Review

Jeff Feingold, editor of NH Business Review, has been a journalist for over 40 years. A winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Journalist of the Year award, he has been a longtime guest on public affairs shows on T.V. and radio, including NHPR, WKXL, WNTK, WNHN and WGIR. He also teaches writing at Granite State College and is a member of the board of directors of the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation.



Sara Colson, Director, Workforce Accelerator 2025 (A program of the Business & Industry Association and NH Charitable Foundation)

Sara Colson is the director of Workforce Accelerator 2025, a joint initiative of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire and NH Charitable Foundation that aims to introduce 84,000 employees with postsecondary credentials into the labor market by 2025, to meet the projected demands of the New Hampshire economy. Sara’s background makes her a natural candidate to better unite businesses and educators. Starting out as a high school math teacher, Sarah later formed her own personal concierge business before serving as executive director of the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce.

Debra Mattson, Advanced Technology and Academic Center Director, Great Bay Community College

Debra Mattson, MSB, M.S.Ed., is the director of the Great Bay Community College’s Advanced Technology and Academic Center in Rochester. With over 20 years of experience in higher education, curriculum development and program evaluation, Debra’s passion is using her expertise to facilitate projects with economic development impact. Prior to coming to New Hampshire, Debra taught both credit bearing and noncredit customized courses at several community colleges in Maine and served as the director of the Maine Advanced Technology Center. In October 2012 Debra was hired to develop curriculum and establish the Advanced Materials Manufacturing Program for Great Bay Community College. 

Butch Locke, Manufacturing Director of Electronic Combat Solutions, BAE Systems, Inc.

With over 25 years of manufacturing experience, Butch is currently leading the staffing and employee development effort for New Hampshire electronic systems operations to meet the challenging needs of its customers. Key to the success of the staffing challenge is the relationships Butch has fostered with many of the local high schools, community colleges and universities. BAE Systems' Electronic Systems, which is headquartered in Nashua, N.H., produces commercial and defense electronics for flight and engine control, electronic warfare, surveillance, communications, geospatial intelligence, and power and energy management. With several facilities in Nashua, Hudson, and Merrimack, New Hampshire, the sector employs more than 5,400 people.

Lynette Rogers, President, New Hampshire Home Builders Association​

Lynette Rogers is president of the New Hampshire Home Builders Association. As part of her duties, Lynette has been working to develop a workforce pipeline by partnering with New Hampshire high schools to address an industry shortage of workers. Just last month, the New Hampshire Home Builders Association partnered with Pinkerton Academy to connect career and technical education students with potential employers. As the owner of Homescapes of New England, an exterior remodeling business, Lynette sees first-hand how a shortage of skilled workers threatens to halt growth in the homebuilding market. She also sees the building industry as a catalyst for creating community and is passionate about its role in education, quality building practices and giving back.

Ideas Session Panel


Liisa Rajala, Associate Editor, NH Business Review

Since joining New Hampshire Business Review in 2014, Liisa Rajala has reported extensively on workforce development efforts and industry-education partnerships to form career pipelines. She also covers innovative industries in the state, including aerospace and defense, medical device manufacturing and information technology. Prior to joining NH Business Review, Liisa covered industry trends for The Kiplinger Letter in Washington, D.C. and wrote for USA Today and Roll Call.           



Tracey Frye, Program Specialist, New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation

Tracey Frye is a program specialist and business engagement unit team member with New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation, and has been with the agency since 2009. The mission of New Hampshire Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation is to assist eligible New Hampshire citizens with disabilities secure suitable employment and financial and personal independence by providing rehabilitation services. New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation provides services to both individuals with disabilities and employers.


Allison Joseph, Executive Director, MY TURN 

Allison Joseph is the executive director of MY TURN, Inc., an agency providing academic and employment training to low-income young people across New Hampshire. MY TURN has worked with employers including Hitchiner Manufacturing to attract workers 24 years old and younger and train them for entry-level positions. Allison studied sociology at Saint Anselm College and has over 10 years of experience working with vulnerable youth populations. A lifelong resident of New Hampshire, Allison is passionate about designing and implementing unique workforce development solutions that benefit the young people and employers of the Granite State.

Michael Power, Community Outreach Administrator, Office of Workforce Opportunity

Michael Power has been with the Office of Workforce Opportunity, within NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs, since 2001, where he administers the state’s Job Training Fund. He also served as staff director of a task force to obtain New Hampshire’s Job Corps Center, a no-cost education and career technical program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Michael has served a number of elected officials, including governors, congressmen and a U.S. Senator. 


Tina M. Sharby, Chief Human Resources Officer, Easterseals New Hampshire

Tina Sharby has over 25 years of multi-state experience working as a strategic partner in all aspects of human resources management. To address Easterseals’ demand for residential instructors to work with special needs children, Tina approached Welcoming New Hampshire and worked with ESL instructors to develop a special program to train individuals from the Nepalese, Congolese and Bhutanese community. Through the program, Easterseals has hired over 20 individuals from the immigrant community and Tina has gained valuable insight into how businesses can incorporate New Americans into their workforce.


2017 Event Photos:


Presenting Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

General Sponsor

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Kimberly Lencki
for more information at 603-413-5154.

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