Workforce development efforts bring students to local manufacturers
Starting in the fall of 2019, students at Milford High School will be able to gain experience and college credits by participating in a program that introduces them to the manufacturing field. Juniors and seniors at Milford High School will be presented with the opportunity to participate in the Manufacturing Exploration & Externship program. The new program combines classroom learning with on-the-job experience at Spraying Systems Co., Hitchiner Manufacturing Co., Inc. and Manchester Community College.
As part of the Advisory Board for the project, the New Hampshire Sector Partnerships Initiative (SPI) shared lessons from a few of its other efforts and identified how the program could be leveraged through an apprenticeship program. This model shares the same initiatives of the Spaulding High School and Great Bay Community College program, that is to feed the workforce pipeline and prepare students for careers in manufacturing. When Milford High School students sign up for the Manufacturing Exploration & Externship program, they do so with the hope that they can stay on with one of the companies full-time after they graduate.
How the Milford High School manufacturing workforce program works
“The Manufacturing Exploration & Externship program at Milford High School allows students to learn more about the manufacturing field while helping them earn college credentials,” said Phil Przybyszewski, workforce solutions project director for the NH Sector Partnerships Initiative. “Knowing that the students are most likely going to be staying on as full-time employees mean that both the students and the employers are fully invested in the process. This program broadens students’ horizons and helps address some of the workforce shortages the companies are experiencing – a win for both the student and the employer.”
Students participating in the Manufacturing Exploration & Externship program at Milford High School spend the first five weeks of the semester learning the skills they will need to master before they begin the 90 plus hours of on-the-job field experience. The students will rotate through the participating companies to increase their exposure to the manufacturing industry. They will also earn $12 per hour for their work. At the end of the program, students will have earned seven college credits from Manchester Community College’s advanced manufacturing program. The program at Milford High School accommodates 15 students per semester and is offered at no cost to the students.
“It’s exhilarating to witness the great interest that our partner companies – Spraying Systems Co., and Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. – share, and their dedication to our next generation of workers,” said Frank Xydias, M.Ed, department of engineering and manufacturing at Milford High School & Applied Technology Center. “Companies are investing in our program and our students, while SPI is the connector who makes partnerships like this one, possible. It’s truly a team effort.”
This partnership is one of the many examples that showcase how SPI works with industry leaders and the community to connect them with the resources to address workforce challenges in the state. Learn more about SPI here.