The New Hampshire Senate is considering a bill aimed at helping the Community College System reduce the so-called “skills gap.” The problem the manufacturing sector faces is that while there are numerous skilled jobs available, there aren’t enough people qualified to fill them. To help bridge that gap, the Senate bill would offer tax credits to businesses that partnered with the Community College System to create workforce training programs.
Hot on the heels of his Q&A with StateImpact, Community College Chancellor Ross Gittell spoke in favor of the program, saying it would be a “win-win-win.”According to Gittell, if the bill were to pass, schools would get much-needed resources to create training programs, manufacturers would get the skilled employees they can’t find in today’s workforce, and the state would get economic growth once those businesses were unfettered by labor shortages.
Gittell says the bill, as crafted, ensures that the community colleges are accountable to the business community.
“We’re forced – if we want to get donations – to serve the needs of businesses, because businesses are not going to donate to this program unless they see a direct connection and benefit from one of our colleges,” Gittell said.
Under the bill, the tax credits would cost the state up to $500 thousand a year in revenue. But that amount could potentially rise to $2 million a year if enough businesses participate.