Addressing NH’s workforce shortage

Education, training are key to helping people find careers

After proudly serving our country in the Navy, I decided to pursue my higher education and enrolled at a local community college. For me, it was an opportunity and steppingstone to advance myself and my career.

A community college can be an excellent starting point to discover who you are and what you are capable of achieving. The experience led to coursework I found interesting, and ultimately paved the way for my transition into a four-year college degree. 

My background, like so many in the professional world, is nontraditional. I am grateful for all the experiences that have helped me succeed and provide insight and empathy for others trying to take their first steps into the professional world and embark upon their own career path. 

As CEO of The Provident Bank, I often hear from our commercial clients, especially those in the manufacturing arena, that there is a lack of skilled workers to fill basic positions. Those positions are often entries to well-paying careers in the manufacturing industry. While New Hampshire is enjoying a historically low unemployment rate (which is ideal for job seekers), it has also created challenges for employers looking to fill positions but are having a difficult time attracting candidates from the limited talent pool.

For this reason, The Provident is proud to be launching a number of different initiatives to address New Hampshire’s workforce shortage. 

We are collaborating with the Community College System of New Hampshire to launch a regional advanced manufacturing center to provide an immediate injection of qualified labor into the marketplace. The newly revamped center will be a resource on the Manchester Community College campus, where both students and companies can go for information on programs, internships, job-matching and learn more about career opportunities.

Additionally, we are proud to be part of an initiative called GoNHJobs, a business and education partnership to accelerate job training and career advancement to help boost New Hampshire’s economic development. This coalition of business and education leaders believes a significant percentage of working adults without a credential or college degree are not reaching their career potential. This initiative is mutually beneficial for the employee, employer and our New Hampshire communities.

GoNHJobs plans to help train or offer certificate programs to participants for little or no cost, expand the traditional definition of a scholarship program to include noncredit workforce training and provide credit opportunities. 

I can remember how taking that first step into a community college classroom helped launch me into a successful career, where I am now fortunate enough to be in a position to help others. We look forward to partnering with other companies to help people find their careers and respective pathways toward success. 

David P. Mansfield is president and CEO of Provident Bancorp Inc. and CEO of its subsidiary, The Provident Bank.

Categories: Opinion