From the official press release below it looks like the Governor and Executive Council have approved $234,678 for a workforce training program aimed at high school students in northern New Hampshire.
Why is this needed?
It’s interesting in that they discuss a “contract with the Grafton County Economic Development Council.” Was this contract put out to bid? I think part of the argument here could be that the State of New Hampshire is at least trying to do something in creating jobs and that this program might be useful in helping local area businesses like Garnet Hill and New England Electric Wire have experienced applicants and trained employees for their operations. This is in addition to education.
I’m trying not to be cynical and negative but I think this is a waste of $234,678 and will do nothing more than pay a coordinators salary, plus benefits and likely the ditzy wife of someone who is connected to the right circles in Grafton county. As a part of this the local news media will go right along with the program and they’ll be some story showing an innocent high school student working as an order filler or answering the telephone and how useful this program is. I think a better use of the $234,678 would have been to put the funds directly to the schools themselves to make sure the students graduate with some of the funds escrowed for students that either show an interest on their own, or have an interest and/or a demonstrated talent like machine engineering. In all reality this might not even be needed because companies like New England Electric Wire have in the past tried to do this on their own without taxpayer money and ditzy well-connected coordinators.
I don’t think this $234,678 is going to lead anywhere. And I’ll bet the vote just sailed through the Executive Council. It's just money anyway.
At one time New England Electric Wire Company based in Lisbon sponsored what I thought was a quality program. They had a partnership with Lisbon High School to bring in I think high-speed T-1 access into the high school so that video conferencing could be done with instructors from around the world so to offer better training for their in-house engineers and the students at the school would be able to take advantage of some of the content as well.
This is better than spending $234,678. And for what kind of results?
I think the taxpayers and the students are going to get nothing out of all this.
But the Grafton County Economic Development Council will get something.
Source: Official Press Release.
Governor and Council Approve Funding to Expand Real World Learning Opportunities for Students
For Immediate Release
CONCORD – Gov. John Lynch and the Executive Council today approved the use federal Workforce Investment Act funds to expand a successful program in Grafton County that offers real world learning opportunities and high school credit for students.
The $234,678 contract with the Grafton County Economic Development Council will help to expand the existing North Country Work Place Education Project.
“We must continue to create new opportunities for real-world learning, where students can gain on-the-job training and the basic skills they need to graduate from high school and get a good job. These funds will allow us to expand a successful program, where students are learning valuable lessons, as well as high school credits,” said Gov. Lynch. “This program represents the state’s growing efforts to provide greater alternative education programs that are helping more of our young people graduate from high school.”
Gov. Lynch has made increasing New Hampshire’s high school graduation rate a priority, by increasing the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 and expanding alternative education programs. In just the last year, New Hampshire’s high school dropout rate decreased by 30 percent. This initiative builds on those efforts.
The current program matches students from the Lisbon Regional School and Profile High School, with companies such as Garnet Hill and New England Wire. Funding from the Workforce Investment Act will fund an expansion to other North Country high schools and businesses.
“Providing students with the opportunity to gain new job readiness skills is of paramount importance to building the workforce of tomorrow,” said Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald. “I'm thrilled that more and more young people will be able to access this first class project and to take advantage of this excellent public/private partnership.”
“The Governor and Executive Council’s support for this public/private partnership represents the solid support for innovative solutions to the problems in the North Country,” said Mark Scarano, executive director of the Grafton County Economic Development Council.