Kuster Touts Workforce Development Bill at Nashua Community College
NASHUA, NH May 31, 2017 — Nashua Community College hosted Congresswoman Annie Kuster Wednesday, May 31 to discuss her Workforce Development Investment Act; a bill that creates tax incentives for businesses that invest in training programs and partner with local schools.
Kuster was joined by Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, Nashua Economic Development Director Tim Cummings and NH State Rep. Cindy Rosenwald. Speaking from the Microelectronics Boot Camp classroom at NCC, Kuster explained how the bill will support New Hampshire and Nashua’s manufacturing industry.
“Companies know what they’re looking for in employees and if we can help them train workers in the skills they need it’s a win-win for all involved,” Kuster said. “This bill expands job training and makes it easier for community colleges to partner with employers to make sure we are training students in the skills they need for the 21st Century economy. Innovative programs like the Microelectronics Boot Camp at Nashua Community College are exactly the types of collaborative efforts we need more of and my legislation would bolster these types of productive partnerships.”
Developed in partnership with BAE, the Microelectronics Boot Camp trains students in wire and ribbon bonding in electronic manufacturing, a skill many local industries need. Every student in the program is guaranteed an interview with BAE. Established one year ago, the program has a 95 percent employment rate.
“The law Annie is supporting would create tax incentives to train more people for jobs we know exist,” said Mayor Donchess, “It would expand programs like this.”
Microelectronics student Alicia Acevedo said the boot camp was exactly what she needed. Acevedo went through two rounds of layoffs from manufacturing firms before coming to NCC. “I am 51 years old, and I needed to gain skills, and this is the place that could help me,” she said.
Diane Gallo from Monzite, a Nashua-based microwave component company, was also visiting the classroom Wednesday. “(The microelectronics program) is helping us—it’s hard to get someone off the street,” Gallo said.
“The legislation proposed by Congresswoman Kuster would strengthen and expand valuable training programs such as the Microelectronics Boot Camp here at Nashua Community College,” said NCC President Lucille Jordan. “The more skilled workers we can train in Nashua, the stronger our local economy and the community will be.”
The bill includes an educational partnership credit; up to $5,000 in annual tax credits to employers for each partnership with community colleges, career and technical education schools, or other higher education institutions. The bill also creates a credit up to $5,000 per worker for employee training costs.
The Workforce Development Investment Act complements the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity law, which passed in 2015. While the law provided a basis for the workforce to coordinate with, the new bill aims to bring employers to the table through tax incentives.
“My goal is to make things here in America, and for the middle class to make it here in America,” Kuster said. To learn more about the Microelectronics Boot Camp at NCC visit: www.nashuacc.edu.