Opportunity Knocks! is a weekly 30-minute radio show on WGIR-AM 610 that explores higher education and jobs in New Hampshire. MCC President Susan Huard, her co-host Jennifer Wells of WGIR, and their guests discuss a different topic every week, ranging from higher education to careers, the job market and new opportunities in New Hampshire. Opportunity Knocks! airs on Sunday mornings at 10 on WGIR-AM.
"Why are we doing this program? Community colleges are about jobs. Everyone has to go to work at some point and make a living, but people don't always have enough opportunity to hear about what's out there, or what their true options are. That's the point of this show. Some of the best jobs are invisible to the public; I want to shed light on options. Our goal for this show is to provide information, ideas and inspiration to help you reach your dreams."
New Hampshire has more than 430 bank branches to take care of our banking needs according to the state's Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau. And those banks employ thousands of people who have chosen banking as their career, from tellers to mortgage specialists to financial advisors.
Susan's guest is Steven Webb, the NH Market President for TD Bank.
According to an article on Forbes.com, the greater Manchester area (which includes Nashua, Merrimack, Goffstown, and about 30 other towns in southern NH) is the fifth most educated metro area in the U.S. The city of Manchester itself has 10 colleges and universities, more than any other city in NH. One of them, UNH-Manchester, is undergoing a dramatic transformation, and also has a new interim dean, Michael Hickey, who spent most of his career in the business world before joining the world of higher ed.
Although New Hampshire has the eighth lowest unemployment rate in the nation, and more people are finding jobs, thousands of people are still searching for full-time employment. At the same time, many companies just can't find people with the skills they need, and many report their employees don't have the basic skills to be successful. WorkReady New Hampshire is a free statewide program that helps New Hampshire residents become more "work ready" by upgrading their math, reading, critical thinking and what are called "soft skills."
Susan's guests are Regina Kelleher, the director of WorkReadyNH at MCC, and Erik Romar, who completed WorkReadyNH after being laid off after a corporate merger.
New statistics report the demand for collision repair technicians will grow by 10% between 2012 and 2022, and that demand for auto technicians will grow by about 7% over that time.
Susan's guests have very different careers tied to the automotive industry. Dick Horan is the founder and owner of Precision Imports, Inc. in Manchester and is on a number of boards involved in automotive technology education. He's also the co-host of "Talking Cars with Dick and Ron" on WFEA Radio. Peter McNamara is the President of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association and the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Automotive Education Foundation, which provides scholarships to help students prepare for careers in the automotive industry.
A career in facilities management offers great salaries, solid job outlook, good opportunities for advancement and can be a good option for people who enjoy hands-on work and different challenges every day!
Susan’s guest is Shawn Dean, who had 25 years of experience in the manufacturing world before joining MCC as an Associate Professor in the Department of Business Studies.
Online education is the fastest growing segment of higher education. A new study from the National Center for Education Statistics reports that about 5.4 million students, or 25% of all college students, took at least one distance education course during the fall of 2012. And here in New Hampshire we're following the trend! New Hampshire's community colleges saw enrollment in online courses jump 85% from 2007 to 2012! But is online learning for everyone?
Susan's guests are Missy Muszynski, the former Director of Online Learning at MCC, and Mark Phelps, who took online courses through MCC while working on his bachelor degree at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.
College is an investment, but how can you figure out which college may be the best investment of your education dollars? It's not necessarily the college with the Ivy League credential (although it could be), nor is it necessarily the college with the lowest tuition, (although THAT could be!).
Susan's guest is Kerry Koziell, a college outreach specialist at NHHEAF, the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation, who offers suggestions about what should be considered to determine which college will give you the best return on this major investment.
It's one of the best educational deals in New Hampshire: Running Start where high school students pay $150 for a $600 college course that they take in their own high school, taught by their high school teachers, during their regular high school day. And when they're done, they have college credits on a transcript that they can attach to their college applications.
Susan's guest is Betsy Stull, the Running Start coordinator at MCC, who's been with the Running Start program since its inception in 1999.
Manufacturing is about 19 percent of NH's economy, with an average salary of about $26 an hour, which translates to $54,000 a year. And yet, many of these jobs are going unfilled, as employers search for the skilled workers they need. Now, under the Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships in Education program, MCC and its six sister colleges are offering dozens of specialized certificate and associate degree programs to teach the skills the employers demand. And it’s working: community college students enrolled in AMPedNH programs frequently have job offers even before they complete their studies!
Susan's guest is Desiree Crossley, who's responsible for getting the word out about AMPedNH.