Nashua Community College Invites Students to ‘Discover’

Nashua Community College Invites Students to ‘Discover’

On April 2 at Nashua Community College, high school juniors and seniors are invited to Industry & Transportation/Manufacturing Career Discovery Day, an opportunity to learn about their various transportation and manufacturing programs.

Transportation programs include Automotive Technology, Aviation Technology, Collision Repair Technology and Honda Automotive Technology, while manufacturing programs feature Precision Manufacturing, CNC and Mechanical Design Technology.

“We have invited many of our industry partners from both the transportation and manufacturing industries,” said Samantha Belcourt, CTE Coordinator of Continuing Education, Nashua Community College. “Many of our partners also serve on program advisory boards, which help inform curriculum and ensures that our graduates are career ready.”

These relationships, she said, are crucial.

“They keep our programs current and relevant to the needs of industry,” she added.

Belcourt said the event is not just geared toward students with experiences in these fields.

“Seniors at the high school level who have not had exposure to these type industries are under the misconception that they cannot pursue a degree in these fields,” she said. “These programs, however, welcome students with all backgrounds and experiences.”

According to Karl Wunderlich, Department Chair of Transportation, Nashua Community College, the event also underscores the educational value available with the Community College System of New Hampshire.

“Why spend $100,000.00 or more on a four year education and not be able to earn that back within 5 years?” he rhetorically noted. “Our 2-year degree, for example, costing about $25,000.00 including tools, can help a student earn higher wages and more job security. A graduate working in this industry for 5 years can earn $100,000 annually or more.”

He said job placement in these fields for graduates is nearly “instant.”

“The rate of new people coming into this field is not keeping pace with those reaching retirement age,” he added. “All types of jobs available.”

Belcourt agreed and said community college education relies on partnerships with both educational leaders and industry partners.

“We depend on our industry partners to help align our programs with industry standards,” she said. “We can not only set the right expectations for out students, but create career pathways.”

Any educator interested in bringing their students to campus for Career Discovery Day can RSVP to NCC Admissions Director Laura Tremblay at

Volvo Car University and Volvo Cars Exeter Team Up

Volvo Car University and Volvo Cars Exeter Team Up

Career and Technical Education is often at the forefront when it comes to experiential, hands-on education, which is demonstrated in a recently announced collaboration between Seacoast School of Technology (SST) and Volvo Car University.

Spearheaded by Dan Enxing of Volvo Cars Exeter, SST is one of six schools in the nation–and the only high school–to receive a new Volvo s60.

“The goal is to get students working on relevant cars with new technology so they will be better prepared for the work place,” said Enxing, member of the Exeter Area New Car Dealers Association. 

He said Volvo Corporate is putting “a lot into this program.”

“They will watch to see what effect it has on the schools and quality of student that graduates and enter the workforce,” he said.  

Noting he advocated for SST to receive a pre-production car upon learning about the program, Enxing said he will donate all of the special tools the students will need to work on it.  

“This program is where my future technicians will come from,” he explained. “If we can help get them working on cars with modern technology, it will benefit the students and dealers…There is a shortage of new technicians, and I see this [program] as one way to help students get excited about becoming a technician.”

According to SST Principal Sharon Wilson, this kind of collaboration with industry partners represents “the heart and soul of CTE.”

“It takes great learning opportunities and gives them a weight that can only be achieved by making it ‘real,’” she said.

This reality, she said, could could refer to earning college credits, obtaining industry certifications, or gaining work-based experience.

“We serve six different sending schools and are fortunate to be part of a local community that embraces our school and our mission,” she said.

Regarding the impact she envisions this collaboration will have for Automotive students at SST, it has for student learning

Noting the degree of sophistication for automotive repairs has increased exponentially, Wilson said this opportunity will help their students “be truly competitive and marketable.”

“We need to give them the most rich and diverse opportunities to hone their skills and challenge them,” she said. “This donation of a pre-production vehicle will open up new pathways for our students, making them more competitive candidates in regards to employability.”

In reflecting on the importance of CTE itself, Wilson said it is important the general public understand its role in today’s economic landscape.

“CTE programs allow students to earn credits while in high school at a significant financial savings while allowing them to better commit to a major down the road,” she said.

11 out of 12 SST programs have dual enrollment opportunities.

Last year, SST students earned 1,667 college credits while enrolled here,” she said. “The financial savings available to students from this is a game changer.”

Wilson said students in CTE are also more likely to graduate from high school.

“Nationwide, they have a 93% graduation rate, which is 13% higher than those who do not take CTE programs,” she said. “91% of students who take 2 to 3 courses in a CTE program also go on to enroll in college…These are important stats and paint a different picture than I think people generally have of CTE.”

To learn more about the SST, or its collaboration with Volvo, visit

Concord High School Automotive Technology Teacher Wins National Award

Concord High School Automotive Technology Teacher Wins National Award

Concord Regional Technical Center Automotive Technology teacher Scott Mayotte has been recognized as one of the top skilled trades teachers in the country in the annual Harbor Freight Tools for Schools national competition. His $30,000 prize is a split award, with $10,000 going to Mr. Mayotte and $20,000 going to his automotive program at the CRTC.

The purpose of the prize is to recognize teaching excellence in the skilled trades that enables students to “learn deeply and be career-ready,” Harbor Freight Tools said in a statement announcing the $500,000 national competition. “We define an ‘excellent’ program as one led by a teacher who clearly loves the subject matter and … whose curriculum is matched to a relevant career pathway and future work choices.”

Mr. Mayotte, who lives in Lebanon, ME, was one of ten finalists from across the country representing skilled trades such as construction, automotive, architecture, manufacturing and marine systems technology. There were three $100,000 first-place winners announced late last year and seven second-place winners who were awarded $30,000, with awards being split between the teachers and the programs they teach.

“We are all very proud of Mr. Mayotte, and very happy with the recognition this award brings to the career pathway work we do here at the CRTC,” CRTC Director Steve Rothenberg said. “This award not only validates the investment Mr. Mayotte makes in his students and his program but also helps to create an awareness of the way high school career and technical education programs statewide promote college and career readiness.”

After nearly two decades as an automotive technician for Volkswagen, Mr. Mayotte returned to the classroom to teach Automotive Technology at the CRTC  in 2011. His students graduate from a nationally certified program with valuable industry credentials and can earn college credit for their coursework. By cultivating relationships with 14 New Hampshire auto dealerships, Mr. Mayotte is able to both keep his program current with industry technology and place all his senior year students into internship positions where they are able to refine their skills and develop the beginnings of a professional network.

This fall, Mayotte established the “All Girls Garage” at Concord High School to introduce more young women to the auto industry, and he works with each of his students to develop a workable college and career plan so that they leave high school knowing both where they want to go and just how to get there.

“My goal is to provide each student with the tools and support he or she needs to leave high school with a workable plan for future success,” Mr. Mayotte said.

Salem Students Take Top Honors in Written Automotive Skills Contest

Salem Students Take Top Honors in Written Automotive Skills Contest

After weeks of competitive testing across New Hampshire’s various Career Technical Education Centers, the New Hampshire Automobile Dealer’s Association has named the top four winning teams that have earned scholarships in the written phase.  Ten schools in total will move on to the practical phase of the NHADA Auto Tech State Championship.  Salem’s David Jacobs and Garrett Houle will be the team to beat in the next round. They each earned a $2,000 scholarship.  Read More

Automotive Education Scholarship Awarded

Nicholas Raynes of Exeter received a $1,000 scholarship from the New Hampshire Automotive Education Foundation (NHAEF). He was given an additional $1,500 scholarship last year.  Nick is in his second year at Nashua Community College, where he is pursuing an associate degree in automotive technology. In addition to his studies, Nick is working in the service department at AutoFair Hyundai in Manchester.

He graduated from Exeter High School in June 2016, taking automotive technology courses at the Seacoast School of Technology in Exeter. An auto tech career is high tech with high wages and low tuition at NH’s Community Colleges. Techs in NH make $58,000 on average and there are over 400 jobs that need to be filled. NH’s community colleges offer 2-year associates degrees in auto tech for roughly $20,000 including the cost of tools. Scholarships like NHADA’s lower that cost even more. Auto tech students can leave school with no or low debt if they take advantage of paid internships, as well as summer full time employment.
The NHAEF has awarded $315,500 in scholarships since its inception. It is a not-for- profit affiliate of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association (NHADA), a statewide trade association with a staff of 31 professionals, representing approximately 500 businesses in the motor vehicle industry with over 14,000 employees. NHADA members run the entire gamut of the motor vehicle industry, including new-car and -truck dealers; motorcycle and recreational vehicle dealers; farm, power, and construction equipment dealers; used-vehicle dealers and recyclers; repair shops, body shops, and parts stores; and other companies that have ties with the motor vehicle industry. Annual retail sales for all members are in excess of $3.8 billion and account for over 24 percent of all retail sales in New Hampshire. More information can be found at NHADA also includes affiliate organizations: the NHADA Workers’ Compensation Trust; NHAD Services, Inc., and NHAD Insurance Trust.