CONWAY — White Mountains Community College and ApprenticeshipNH, a statewide effort that is addressing workforce needs in five core sectors of New Hampshire’s economy, invite leaders from the hospitality sector to a Business Roundtable to be held Nov. 5 from 9:30-11:30 amat WMCC’s North Conway Academic Center, 2541 White Mountain Highway, North Conway.

The roundtable will explore the Registered Apprenticeship model as a solution to the hospitality workforce shortage.

The ApprenticeshipNH model has helped dozens of companies in the hospitality, construction and infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, information technology and health-care sectors hire and retain skilled employees throughout the state.

“We have heard time and time again that the hospitality sector struggles greatly to hire and retain skilled employees,” said Tamara Roberge, coordinator of workforce development and community education at WMCC.

“We’d like to invite local restaurants, hotels, motels and other companies engaged in hospitality to join us for an open discussion around how we can come together and collaborate to solve this workforce shortage so we can continue to effectively support and grow this vital economic sector of the North Country,” Roberge said.

Experts from WMCC and ApprenticeshipNH — including Greg Worthen, associate professor of baking and pastry arts at WMCC;  Roberge, coordinator of workforce development and community education at WMCC; Emily Zeien, ApprenticeshipNH grant manager; and Ann Banks, ApprenticeshipNH workforce development administrator — will hold a discussion about workforce challenges.

They will share examples of successful Registered Apprenticeship models across the state, including a newly approved Culinary Arts Apprenticeship program, a partnership between WMCC, ApprenticeshipNH and Omni Mount Washington Resort that currently has 10 apprentices participating in the program and its first class graduating this spring.

The speakers also hope to hear from area businesses about the nature of their workforce challenges and then collaboratively shape solutions.

Information on how grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor is being used to help connect businesses in New Hampshire, and in particular hospitality with NH’s community colleges, also will be highlighted.

To learn more about the Business Roundtable at WMCC or to register call Roberge at (603) 342-3062, email troberge@ccsnh.edu or go to apprenticeshipnh.com.

White Mountains Community College is located in Berlin with satellite campuses in Littleton and North Conway. It is one of seven colleges in the Community College System of New Hampshire.

WMCC offers associate degree and certificate programs, plus training options, preparing students for 21st century job opportunities as well as transfer pathways to four year colleges and universities.

WMCC is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Courses are available day, evening and online.

WMCC courses transfer to four-year colleges and universities in New Hampshire and across the country. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the "65 by 25 Initiative," which calls for 65 percent of Granite State citizens to have some form of post-secondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.

The Community College System of NH, through funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, is leading efforts to enhance Registered Apprenticeship opportunities within the information technology, health care, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and infrastructure/construction sectors.

This grant supports the development of new Registered Apprenticeship opportunities, provides funding for related instruction at New Hampshire community colleges and supports outreach to employers who wish to expand work-based learning at their sites.

Services will be coordinated with the WorkReadyNH program offered at NH’s community colleges, designed to help individuals build the necessary soft skills required for today’s workforce.

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