By the Community College System of New Hampshire

After receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) has been working to grow and expand registered apprenticeship programs across the state of New Hampshire that both respond to our state’s growing economy, and also provide upward mobility to New Hampshire residents.

While these apprenticeship programs help meet employer demand, they are also providing impactful career and education pathways to New Hampshire residents, helping jobseekers in our community with an opportunity to earn and learn in a high-demand field. With the support of grant funding, CCSNH is focused on reducing barriers and providing opportunities to individuals seeking a high-quality career to better themselves and their families.

Many healthcare apprentices enrolling in these programs come to CCSNH with financial and other barriers that have traditionally prevented them from being successful.  Consider the story of Shannon, a Home Health Aide apprentice at Senior Helpers of the Greater Seacoast.  Senior Helpers provides non-medical, in-home care services throughout the Seacoast region of New Hampshire to anyone in need of assistance with activities of daily living. As part of the program, Shannon participated in classroom instruction at Great Bay Community College and hands-on, on-the-job learning through Senior Helpers.

Prior to beginning her apprenticeship, Shannon had no previous experience or education in healthcare.  Due to a disability she has struggled with mental health and had never been confident about finding and keeping a good job.  When Shannon applied to the program, she was unemployed and had never stepped foot in a college class. Shannon knew that she needed to make a change in her life, and decided to apply to the program even though, in her own words, “it sounded too good to be true”. The 1:1 mentorship provided to Shannon as part of her apprenticeship has been instrumental in ensuring her success, and thanks to apprenticeship Shannon was able to begin a career at a company willing to invest in her training and education. 

When asked what advice Shannon would give to someone else who might be considering apprenticeship she said, “Take this opportunity because it’s a great one. I was very scared to reach out in the beginning, but I’m glad that I did… it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”