Doors to Opportunity! was a weekly 30-minute radio show that aired on Sunday mornings on WGIR-AM 610 from October 2013 to April 2016. MCC President Susan Huard hosted the show, and each week the discussions focused on topics related to higher education and careers.
"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 was to provide information, ideas and inspiration to help you reach your dreams."
Businesses say they can't find the employees with the skills they need, and thousands of NH residents are unemployed or underemployed and looking at career options, wondering what their economic future holds. How can higher education and the business community work together to change that picture?
Susan's guest is Fred Kocher, a name well known in NH's business, political and education circles. Fred is founder and president of Kocher & Company; past president, long-time director and now trustee of the NH High Technology Council; co-founder of the NH Forum on the Future, and, most recently, co-founder of the NH Coalition of Business & Education.
New Hampshire has about 1.3 million people, and in 2011 we registered almost 1.2 million cars and trucks! Those numbers point to job security and promotion opportunities for skilled auto technicians.
Susan's guests are two people with 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 tech 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.
Between 50% and 70% of all college students change their majors at least once during their college journey, because they're just not sure what career they want to pursue. This week's conversation is about assessment tools that can help students (or anyone!) clarify their options. Susan's guests are Lauren Smith, the Career and Transfer Advisor at MCC, and Brendan Stamm, Assistant Director and Military Admission Specialist at the Office of Transfer Admission at Southern New Hampshire University.
Since the Great Recession began, there has been a lot of debate about which college degrees are "worth it." Some occupations require job-specific expertise and training, and selecting a major is relatively easy. But then there are the English or history or anthropology majors, the so-called "liberal arts" majors, whose parents ask, "Who hires people with liberal arts degrees?"
Susan's guest has answers to those questions. Jennifer Landon is the Career Consultant at the University of New Hampshire-Manchester, and was previously involved in career advising and workforce development at SNHU and at MCC.
Thousands of high school students receive college acceptance letters in March, and face the big decision that will change their lives: where they'll start their college careers. And money shouldn't necessarily be the deciding factor. This week's conversation focuses on what to think about as they make their choice.
Susan's guest is Kerry Koziell, a College Outreach Specialist at NHHEAF, the NH Higher Education Assistance Foundation, and a former high school English teacher.
One of the attributes of community colleges is "access." Except for very select programs, everyone is accepted, and if they don't have college-level math or English skills, MCC has classes to help. Classes are available days, evenings, weekends, and online to fit people's schedules. But despite all those options, it can be overwhelming for some people to walk onto a college campus and get started. So MCC opened MCC Downtown.
Susan's guest is Kim Keegan, the VP of Student and Community Development at MCC, and also the new Interim Director of MCC Downtown, the new MCC office at 889 Elm Street in Manchester. Kim discusses what's available at MCC Downtown.
This week's conversation is about the pros and cons of a sales career; Susan's guest is Christopher Norwood, the newly appointed president of NAI Norwood Group, a large commercial real estate brokerage and development firm in New Hampshire. Chris is also a past president of the NH Commercial/Investment Board of Realtors.
This week's conversation is about some different training options available through the seven community college in New Hampshire, including MCC. We know that sometimes people don't need a new degree to get ahead in their career; they just need to update their skills. And some companies don't need to hire more employees to grow their businesses; they need to invest in the employees they have, to help them develop the skills they need. And that's where the community colleges can help. Susan's guest is Kathy DesRoches, the Director of Workforce Development at MCC.
This week's conversation is about a career field that didn't even exist 10 years ago, but that today drives an industry that is responsible for just over $4 billion dollars in spending by U.S. companies in 2013: Social Media. Susan talks with a graduate of Manchester West High School who now works in this new field. Meg DiNardo is a social media strategist who has worked with national companies like Dove and Heinz Ketchup on their social media campaigns.
A recent report from the NH Department of Employment Security projects that the healthcare sector will be one of the fastest growing through 2020, creating upwards of 20,000 new jobs. This week's conversation is about two programs designed to help people get the training they need to fill those jobs. Susan's guests are Shawn Barry, a Program Specialist for the "Health Profession Opportunity Project," commonly called HPOP, which is run out of the Office of Minority Health & Refugee Affairs at the NH Department of Health and Human Services, and William Athanas, Program Director of the "H1B-ICU Healthcare Skill Training Grant," based at MCC.