Doors to Opportunity! 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 Michael Carter 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. Doors to Opportunity! 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."
In today's ever increasing digital age, high schools and middle schools are embracing online courses. Students across the U.S. have access to a variety of online secondary schools – whether private, public or affiliated with colleges. Here in New Hampshire, the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (or "VLACS") is an accredited, free option for Granite State residents. Susan's guest is Tony Baldasaro, Chief Human Resource Officer for VLACS.
Healthcare-related jobs occupy seven of the top-ten list of expanding career opportunities in the U.S. The retirement of current workers, the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the aging of our nation's population have all contributed to a sudden and sharp need for people to join the healthcare field. Susan's guests are Jennifer Torosian, Executive Director of Nursing at Catholic Medical Center (CMC) and Julie Gendron, Human Resources Business Partner at CMC.
The Department of Labor projects the number of U.S. teaching jobs to grow by more than 429,000 over the next decade. Many educators take a traditional path to becoming teachers – by graduating from college with an associate or bachelor's degree in Education. This week, Susan speaks with Mary Ford, Dean of the School of Education at Granite State College, to learn more about "nontraditional" or "alternative" paths to teaching.
According to research from the Rauch Foundation, 85 percent of the brain is developed by the time a child is five years old. Lawmakers at both the state and the federal levels have signaled their intention to invest more time and resources in early education. To learn more about traditional pathways to becoming an early childhood educator, Susan interviews Carrie Marshall Gross, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at Manchester Community College, and Debbie Booker, Director of MCC’s Child Development Center.
Crime is down 6% in 2014 compared to 2013 in Manchester, NH. It's been reported that targeted efforts by the Manchester Police Department to increase patrols in "hot spots" to arrest more street-level drug dealers may have played a significant role in the drop in crime. Susan's guests are Captain James Flanagan from the Detective Division and Sergeant Steve Mangone from the Training Division of the Manchester Police Department.
At the beginning of a new legislative session, lawmakers are hard at work crafting a two-year budget. The House and Senate are in session, working with Governor Hassan to establish priorities for the coming months. Susan's guest is State Senator Donna Soucy (NH-18), who represents Manchester and Litchfield.
The New England Foundation for the Arts describes the creative economy as a "powerful and positive global force, where artists, cultural nonprofits and creative businesses produce and distribute cultural good and services that impact the economy by generating jobs, revenue and quality of life." Here in Manchester, NH, we are fortunate to have the Currier Museum of Art and its Art Center as a local employer and a visual arts destination for the community and visitors. Susan's guests are Kurt Sundstrom, Curator and Bruce McColl, artist and Director of the Art Center.
To be successful over the long term, colleges and their host communities must work together to make sure the pipeline is in place for students of all ages to reach their goals and realize their dreams in life. Susan's guest is Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.
There is a great deal of collaboration and cooperation between public and private colleges and universities to ensure we have the most accessible and seamless system of education possible in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire College and University Council works to bring colleges and universities together to help students succeed and reach their goals. Susan's guests are Tom Horgan, President of the NH College and University Council and Scott Power, the Director of NH Scholars, which is an NHCUC program.
According to the Institute for College Access and Success, college graduates left school in 2012 with an average of $30,000 in debt. Last year, according to the College Board national review, the average cost for a state school was just under $23,000 for one year; that adds up to a $100,000 education. For private four-year colleges, the cost for one year of school averages more than $44,000. Many struggle to afford the cost of a college education in New Hampshire and around the country. Susan's guests are Rick Blais, Senior Vice President at Primerica in Manchester, and Stephanie Weldon, Director of Financial Aid at Manchester Community College.