Two New Hampshire manufacturing companies and Milford High School are unveiling a new program that will help train the next generation of workforce. Hitchiner Manufacturing Co., Inc in Milford; and Spraying Systems Co., in Merrimack; have spent several months working with Milford High School teachers and administrators to develop a course that will provide students with the skills they need to enter a career in advanced manufacturing.
The Manufacturing Exploration and Externship program will run for a semester and includes both classroom instruction and a two day a week Externship where students will get hands on experience at one of the sponsoring employers, as well as earn $12.00 an hour for their work. Along with the paid industry experience, students will be able to earn college credits through the Community College System of New Hampshire. While there are other programs in New Hampshire that connect high school students with local companies and provide job training, the length and depth of instruction makes the Manufacturing Exploration and Externship program among the first of its kind in the state.
“Developing New Hampshire’s future workforce is something we have always believed is important and worth investing in,” said John H. Morison III, Chairman and CEO of Hitchiner Manufacturing. “With our planned expansion, there are many opportunities on the horizon for young people seeking a career in manufacturing and this program will help get them there.”
“With unemployment at such low levels, it’s been a challenge to fill all of our open positions,” said Joe Ruelas, Vice President of Operations of Spraying Systems Co. “Connecting with high school students so that they can help fill those jobs just makes sense.”
Once finalized, theManufacturing Exploration and Externship program will be offered to up to 20 upperclassmen beginning in the fall of 2019 and would complement the existing machining and engineering programs already in place at Milford High School. The course will include basic job readiness skills, such as interview skills and resume writing, as well as instruction in three different areas of manufacturing: custom manufacturing, mass production and just-in-time manufacturing. It will also include information used today in most modern manufacturing facilities, such as quality control, safety and robotics. The course will be open to juniors and seniors and the school district expects the course will gain the most interest from students who may be looking for career opportunities that they did not know existed.
“We are always looking to be innovative in facilitating a students career pathway. Milford High School & Applied Technology Center has always had a long standing relationship with our local industry partners and this just made sense. Collaborating with community stakeholders to enhance career readiness and opportunities for students is a win-win situation.” said Richard Paiva, Director of Technical Studies at Milford High School.
The manufacturing partners see this program as a way to not only train young workers and hopefully set them on a path for a long career, but to also give students an understanding of the expectations they will face in the working world and to make important connections they can use when looking for a job after graduation.