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Kuster Announces Introduction of Legislation to Improve Workforce Development Programs

(Nashua, N.H.) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) visited Nashua Community College to announce the introduction of her legislation, the Workforce Development Investment Act. Kuster was joined by Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, representatives of New Hampshire’s community colleges, and others to discuss the importance of the legislation to expanding New Hampshire’s workforce. The group visited the Microelectronics Boot Camp at Nashua Community College, which trains students in wire bonding and helps connect students with local employers.

“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,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “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 are exactly the types of collaborative efforts we need more of and my legislation would bolster these types of productive partnerships.”

The bill is supported by the New England Council, a nonpartisan business alliance that promotes economic growth across New England.

“In New England, equipping workers with the right set of skills in a timely manner is crucial for the success of our workforce and our economy. The tax credit in this legislation will help encourage employers to support partnerships which address our skills gap in creative and collaborative ways. It provides tax credits for partnership models that have proven successful, and while these models are continuing to be improved upon, incentivizing their development will help strengthen these types of partnerships at a time when they are greatly needed.” – Jim Brett, President and CEO, The New England Council

Kuster’s legislation would create tax incentives to encourage companies and educators to partner in training programs to help workers gain the skills needed for careers in the 21st Century economy. Specifically the bill would create a credit to encourage employers to partner with community colleges and career and technical training schools to develop workforce training programs for skills that are in demand within their community or region.  It would also create a separate credit for the cost of direct training conducted as part of an educational partnership or licensed apprenticeship program.

Governor Hassan Announces Job Training Grants for Eight New Hampshire Companies in December

Matching Grants Will Help Train 235 Workers in New Skills 

CONCORD – Continuing her efforts to help New Hampshire workers develop the skills and innovative thinking needed for good jobs in the 21st century economy, Governor Maggie Hassan announced today that eight New Hampshire companies have been awarded job training grants to help them train 235 workers in new skills.

The job training grants total $77,865 and the companies matched the training funds to bring the total amount for training workers to $155,730. 

“I am proud to announce the most recent round of important grants to help prepare workers for success at growing businesses,” Governor Hassan said. “New Hampshire’s Job Training Fund is a valuable and critical resource that has helped thousands of workers develop skills needed for success in the innovation economy. By maintaining our commitment to higher education and job training, we can attract innovative businesses, help existing companies grow, and support the creation of good jobs that will expand middle class opportunity and help keep our economy moving in the right direction.” 

  • Symmetry Medical Manufacturing Inc. of Manchester received a grant of up to $41,204 to train 185 employees in lean fundamentals from the NH Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NHMEP) and in leadership, blue print reading, GD&T and Excel from Manchester Community College (MCC).
  • A grant of $10,958 was awarded to Wire Belt Company of America, Londonderry to train 18 employees in leadership at MCC.
  • Knott’s Land Care LLC of Amherst received a grant of $4,000 for two employees to be trained at Nashua Community College (NCC) in customer service, business and management.
  • Neoscope LLC of Portsmouth will use a grant of $1,848 to send one employee to the RSA Conference for internet security, analytics and privacy training.
  • High Liner Foods of Portsmouth received a grant of $6,125 to train 15 employees in 5S Kaizen and leadership at NHMEP.
  • TestVonics Inc. of Peterborough received a training grant of $5,500 for three employees to join the ISO 9001 Collaborative Program at NHMEP.
  • Extrusion Alternatives, Inc. of Portsmouth received a grant of $5,500 for four employees to participate in the ISO 9001 Collaborative Program at NHMEP.
  • Bigelow and Ashton, PA of Wolfeboro will use a $2,730 grant to train seven employees in the cyber security program development course at Neoscope Inc.

The Job Training Fund has awarded $8,478,760 in grants since October 2007, with employers contributing $11,165,588 for a total of $19,644,348 in new training for 24,900 New Hampshire workers. Companies interested in applying to the Job Training Fund should visit the fund’s web site at www.nhjobtrainingfund.org.

If You Are Doing Any Type Of Campaign Organizing Beth’s Trainings Are A Must


Beth Becker of Becker Digital Strategies

Over the past six years I have been working with different unions and advocacy groups to spread their message across the vast reaches of the Internet. In fact I started the NH Labor News with the sole intent of showing the people of New Hampshire that Right To Work was wrong, to stand up and take action against the “Bully” O’Brien legislature.

From those humble beginnings, full of grammatical mistakes and typos, the NH Labor News has grown to over 3,000 Facebook fans, 6,000 twitter followers and has had over 650,000 website views.

Do you want to know how I did it? Do you want to build your organization’s digital empire to spread your message better? Do you want to use digital tricks to become a better organizer offline?


Becker Digital Strategies

Do what I did; take a class from Beth Becker.

Beth is goddess in the digital world. I could tell you all the places she has worked but this server does not have enough space. Lets just say that she has worked for everyone from a union local to Congressmen and literally everything in between.

Now Beth is taking her show on the road. Her first training class will be in Phoenix in early January.

I know what your thinking, I don’t live anywhere near Phoenix. That’s okay she will be in a city near you soon. Click here to sign up and receive updates about upcoming training classes.

(For those in NH specifically, Beth is already talking about coming up here for a week)

Right now Beth is traveling around giving two, 2-day classes.

The first class is an Introduction to Digital Space:

“This training will introduce organizers who aren’t comfortable or familiar with digital organizing to some of the basic strategies and best practices for email, data, social media and more.”

The second class is Social Media Strategy:

“We’ll dive into the pillars of building a social media strategy, best practices and case studies for a variety of platforms, content strategy, social advertising and analytics.”

If you work for a campaign, whether it is organizing bank tellers, paid family leave, or any political campaign these classes are a must and there is nobody better at teaching them than Beth Becker.

Sign up now to get email updates on upcoming classes.

America Votes NH Is Looking For Strong Progressives To Take Part In “Emerging Leaders Boot Camp”

America Votes is proud to partner with New Leaders Council to host the
1st Annual Emerging Leaders Campaign School
Saturday September 26 and Sunday September 27 at Pembroke Academy.


America Votes is looking for progressives to build a stronger network of activists and elected leaders in New Hampshire.  Please read the message from America Votes below:

As part of our long term vision to build progressive change and develop opportunities for America Votes partners and allies to build out membership, boards, staff and  policy champions,  we are launching the Emerging Leaders Boot Camp

The goal is to create a recurring training opportunity to pipeline and network our progressive talent. We also hope to on-ramp some of these leaders into our 2nd New Leaders Council Institute which will run from February to June 2016.  Learn more about the 2015 America Votes-New Leaders Council Fellows.   

We encourage those who have run in the past, have never run for office or who wish to become more effective issue advocates to participate.  

If you know individuals  who cannot afford the $50 fee, please contact me  directly.  It is our preference that everyone register online in advance. If you or your organization wishe to sponsor participants, we prefer that you register individuals directly on their behalf.   If this is a problem for your organization, please contact me to work out an alternative arrangement. 

LiUNA Mourns The Loss Of Two Members In National Guard Training Accident

LIUNA Statement on the Deaths of LIUNA National Guard Local Union 1776 Members Lance Bergeron and Thomas Florich III, and Their Nine Fellow Warriors

Washington, D.C. (March 19, 2015) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), today made the following statement regarding the tragic, March 10, 2015 training accident that took the lives of 11 brave Marines and National Guardsmen, among them LIUNA National Guard Local Union 1776 members Staff Sgt. Lance Bergeron and Staff Sgt. Thomas C. Florich III.

On behalf of the General Executive Board and the 500,000 members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the 11 Marines and National Guardsmen who gave their lives in the service of our great nation when their helicopter crashed on March 10.  It was with hearts already heavy over this loss that we learned that two of those brave souls were our LIUNA brothers, Staff Sgt. Lance Bergeron, and Staff Sgt. Thomas C. Florich III.

Sergeants Bergeron and Florich were among the National Guard military technicians that LIUNA is extremely proud to represent.  Staff Sgt. Bergeron enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1998 and joined the Louisiana National Guard in 2001. He served in Iraq twice, and assisted in the response to several national emergencies, including Hurricane Katrina.  Staff Sgt. Florich enlisted in the Louisiana National Guard in 2007, and assisted in the response to Hurricane Isaac and the Deepwater Horizon disaster.  In their commitment to their families, their fellow soldiers, their communities, their union, and their country, these two brave warriors exemplified the very best of LIUNA.

While they will be greatly missed, memories of them will live on in the hearts they touched, and with the working men and women whose lives they protected.  Through their hard work, devotion, and patriotism, Sergeants Bergeron and Florich, and the nine other service members lost that day left our great nation better than they found it.

LIUNA sends our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Staff Sgt. Bergeron, Staff Sgt. Florich, and the other service members who were lost in the accident.  We also thank all of the courageous men and women of our armed forces, who bravely put their lives on the line to preserve, protect, and defend the freedom we all hold dear.

The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America. 

AFL-CIO Summit Focused On Real-World Job Skills And Economic Prosperity

Career and Technical Education/Workforce Development Summit Focuses on Effective Pathways to Graduation, Real-World Job Skills, Economic Prosperity

Vice-President-Joe-Biden-to-Deliver-Remarks-for-AFL-CIO-AFT-Career-and-Technical-Education-Summit_blog_post_fullWidthWASHINGTON—Career and technical education and workforce development create multiple pathways to high school and higher education graduation, real-world job skills and economic prosperity, speakers including Vice President Joe Biden said today at the first Career and Technical Education/Workforce Development Summit. It was co-hosted by the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO.

Vice President Biden said school-employer partnerships provide a path to a middle- class life. “These partnerships provide a seamless transition so folks can go from a classroom to a job, and from job to job within the industry they’re in,” he said, adding, “We have to maintain and enhance our workforce so we have the most sophisticated, best-trained workforce in the world.”

Summit speakers emphasized that today’s CTE programs are very different from yesterday’s vocational education programs. CTE has been reimagined to bring together all the players needed to make it succeed—students, teachers, businesses and other employers, and higher education institutions.

“CTE has the promise and potential to help equip a new generation of workers with the skills and knowledge needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and to forge a new path to college and life,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “It’s a way for our high schools, community colleges and other higher education institutions, and businesses to coordinate and align so they can create and sustain good, middle-class jobs.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said short-term challenges are flat wages and lack of jobs, while the long-term goal must be to regain America’s competitive edge.

“Workforce development won’t be a cure-all, but it is a necessary ingredient. What we need is a full, comprehensive system for lifelong learning. I’m talking about everything from high school programs to community colleges to apprenticeship programs to on-the-job learning. We all benefit when workers develop transferrable skills, so we can move among employers if we want and grow as professionals throughout our working lives,” Trumka said.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler said CTE and workforce development are a fundamental part of America’s infrastructure. “It’s as basic to our economy and our communities as building roads and bridges. In fact, workforce development is a bridge—a bridge to our future, to the workers, jobs and technology of tomorrow, to our success as individuals and industries, and to our competitiveness as a nation.”

Alexis Smith is a graduate of the Toledo Technology Academy and now studying biomedical engineering at the University of Toledo.

“My experience at Toledo Tech opened up the doors of opportunity for me to delve into my passion,” Smith said. Of other former and current CTE students speaking at the summit, she said, “We are Exhibit ‘A’ for the power of CTE to engage us in our studies, to help us secure a bright future and to have fun at the same time.”

Among the corporate leaders at the summit validating the importance of CTE programs was Snap-on Inc. Chairman and CEO Nicholas Pinchuk.

“We are in a global competition for jobs,” Pinchuk said. “The single best weapon is CTE. We need to outskill the competition.”

Weingarten noted that for CTE to fulfill its potential, more businesses need to partner with educators and schools to offer a path forward for students with internships, apprenticeships and employment opportunities. This was reinforced in a survey of 570 CTE teachers that the AFT released today.

The teachers uniformly believe in CTE as a way to create opportunity for kids, but said they need the equipment and resources to make the work real and need more partners in business and the community to step up.

“Understanding the realities of the workplace and learning how to apply skills can only improve a student’s chance of success after high school,” a New York teacher said in the survey. A Michigan teacher wrote: “I have seen CTE classes, and the skills learned in them change students’ lives. They give many unmotivated students a reason to perform better in school, and they give many motivated students access to forms of expression and outlets they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Weingarten noted the summit took place just a few days after the polarizing midterm elections. “CTE is a strategy that both Republicans and Democrats believe in and can agree on, so I have great hope that we can move this agenda in Washington, D.C.”

After Nurse Tests Positive For EBOLA, Nurse’s Union Calls For Higher Safety Standards And Training


Ebola – RNs Call for Highest Standards for Protective Equipment, including Hazmat Suits, Hands-On Training Following  Report of First Nurse Infection in Dallas

2,000 RNs Across U.S. Say Hospitals Still Lagging

Following news Sunday that the first U.S. nurse has now tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, National Nurses United called for all hospitals to have in place the highest standard of optimal protections, including Hazmat suits, and hands-on training to protect all RNs, other hospital personnel to confront Ebola.

“There is no standard short of optimal in protective equipment and hands-on-training that is acceptable,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, the largest U.S. organization of nurses.

“Nurses and other frontline hospital personnel must have the highest level of protective equipment, such as the Hazmat suits Emery University or the CDC themselves use while transporting patients and hands on training and drills for all RNs and other hospital personnel, that includes the practice putting on and taking off the optimal equipment,” DeMoro said Sunday.

NNU will host a national call-in conference call Wednesday with nurses across the U.S. to discuss concerns about U.S. hospital readiness for Ebola.

“Our call was set before today’s announcement based on steady reports from nurses at multiple hospitals who are alarmed at the inadequate preparation they see at their hospitals. The time to act is long overdue,” DeMoro said.

On the Wednesday (10-15-14) call, National Nurses United, which has been surveying nurses across the U.S. has been calling on U.S. hospitals to immediately upgrade emergency preparations for Ebola — including proper hands on training for RNs and other hospital personnel and keep proper protective equipment fully supplied for immediate use.

Hundreds of RNs are expected to call in on Wednesday for a discussion, and to ask questions, about U.S. hospital preparedness. The call is at 3 p.m. EST, 12 noon PST.

(Note to media: You may listen in to the call via webcast, at https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/731/6167 or via phone, from U.S. or Canada, 1-877-384-4190 or international, 1-857-244-7412. Participant Code 26306511#. The call will be open to media questions after nurses’ questions.)

As of Sunday mid-day, 2,000 RNs at more 750 facilities in 46 states and the District of Columbia have responded to the NNU national survey. 

Current findings show:

  • 76 percent still say their hospital has not communicated to them any policy regarding potential admission of patients infected by Ebola
  • 85 percent say their hospital has not provided education on Ebola with the ability for the nurses to interact and ask questions
  • 37 percent say their hospital has insufficient current supplies of eye protection (face shields or side shields with goggles) for daily use on their unit; 36 percent say there are insufficient supplies of fluid resistant/impermeable gowns in their hospital
  • 39 percent say their hospital does not have plans to equip isolation rooms with plastic covered mattresses and pillows and discard all linens after use; only 8 percent said they were aware their hospital does have such a plan in place

NNU is calling for all U.S. hospitals to immediately implement a full emergency preparedness plan for Ebola, or other disease outbreaks. That includes:

  • Full training of hospital personnel, along with proper protocols and training materials for responding to outbreaks, with the ability for nurses to interact and ask questions.
  • Adequate supplies of Hazmat suits and other personal protective equipment.
  • Properly equipped isolation rooms to assure patient, visitor, and staff safety.
  • Proper procedures for disposal of medical waste and linens after use.

NNU is also calling for significant increases in provision of aid, financial, personnel, and protective equipment, from the U.S., other governments, and private corporate interests to the nations in West Africa directly affected to contain and stop the spread of Ebola.

Building Pathways NH Is Looking For Women Interested In Working In The Building Trades


BPNH_Flyer_2014 (1)


Five weeks, hands-on training in a variety of construction trades including carpentry, electrical, sheetmetal, plumbing, pipefitting, insulating, blueprint reading, labor history, construction math, interview skills & more.

Classes begin Monday, May 12, and end Friday, Jun 13, 2014.
Free:  there is no charge for the program.

Classes meet Monday – Friday, 7am – 3:30pm (construction site hours)

Base location:  Carpenters Training Center, 900 Candia Rd, Manchester.  Students will also go to other Building Trades Training Centers as well as to an active construction site.

Students will receive OSHA 10 and First Aid/CPR certificates.  Spaces are limited – max 13 students.

Who is Qualified?

The program is designed for female New Hampshire residents who are unemployed or underemployed, who are physically able to work in construction, are 18 or older, are authorized to work in the US, have a high school diploma or GED, are drug free and agree to drug testing, are on time, are interested in a construction career, can pass an 8th grade level English and math test and who have access to reliable transportation.  Women of color and female veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply?

Attend an Information Session, 6 – 7:30 pm on March 11, 13, 17 or 24, at the Plumbers and Pipefitters hall, 161 Londonderry Turnpike, Hookset, NH.  Do NOT be late.


Program Sponsors

The program is sponsored by the NH AFL-CIO, the NH State Building and Construction Trades Council, and the Carpenters Union.  It is supported by federal Workforce Investment Act funds, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and program partners.

For More Information

Contact Joe Gallagher, Building Pathways Program Coordinator, 603-948-8161, buildingpathwaysnh@gmail.com, PO Box 1097, Manchester, NH 03105.

Program information can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/buildingpathwaysnh.

Print this information from PDF here.

Click here for Printable PDF of color flyer.

Seniors, the untapped social media market


Running an online blog I know how hard it is to get people to my site.  When I created the NH Labor News, I started with a blogger account and a Facebook page.  Now we have grown to include Twitter (@NHlabor_News), Pintrest, Google+, and Tumblr.  Why so many accounts? Because everyone has their favorite place browse, and every site has their advantage.

There is no doubt that the ‘millennial’ generation is the most active on social media websites.  They make status updates every time they sneeze!  Many of these people access the Internet through their smartphones and tablets.  As we go up in the age brackets we see a decline in the number of people who are active on social media.  I would argue that the people are there, they just choose not to post everything they are doing. With a little training the older generation can be effective messengers.

Recently Fosters Daily Democrat posted a new article that highlighted how senior are becoming more active online.

According to a Pew Research Center study from 2012, 53 percent of adults age 65 and older in the United States were using the Internet or email…. 34 percent of senior citizen Internet users utilize social networking sites such as Facebook, while 18 of those individuals do so routinely.”

The major problem with all of these seniors being online is that many of them do not know or understand how to effectively use their computers and social media accounts.

A lot of times we find that someone’s family member buys them a computer, but they are unsure how to use it,” said Krista Trefethen (assistant recreation director for the Dover Senior Center). “We’ve also seen an increase in the number of questions coming from our members relating to tablets, Nooks, and other technology.”

This is a huge opportunity for groups like the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, The New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, and the NH Alliance for Retired Americans to help teach their senior members how to effectively use their social media accounts.  Not only could they teach people how to use Facebook, but how to help push a message through their Facebook account.   This could also be a great way for seniors to become informed about issues and events in their area.


No matter how good a message is if you fans on social media accounts do not share it, the message falls flat.  With creative training sessions we could teach an entire group of people how to push our collective message.

There are significant advantages to having senior online pushing our message.  They are living the message.  When people talk about cuts to Social Security seniors know what that will mean to them, and that helps provide validity to the message.  It also shows their friends, who are in similar age bracket, how they could be affected.

There is another advantage to arming seniors with effective messaging techniques.  They do not give a crap about what other people think of them.  I took an online training session last year that talked about how to frame your blog titles for the biggest shares on Facebook.  The key was that it had to pass the ‘mom’ test.  Middle age women are the biggest sharers on Facebook, for two reasons.  They are opinionated and they are not afraid of what other people think about them after they tell you how they feel.  This is the same for seniors.  They do not care if people know they are a Republican or a Democrat. They do not care if you do not like what they have to say.

Pushing a message is more about how many times people see it. How many times have clicked on something just because everyone you know is sharing it? It is about repetition.

Through social media training from our advocacy groups we can teach people young and old how to spread your message.


Governor Hassan Announces Eight NH Companies Awarded Job Training Grants

Matching Grants Will Help Train 324 Workers in New Skills

CONCORD – Continuing her efforts to support programs that help New Hampshire workers develop the skills, knowledge and innovative thinking necessary for jobs in the economy of the 21st century, Governor Hassan announced today eight companies will receive job training grants to help them train 324 workers in new skills.

The job training grants total more than $148,000. The eight companies contributed matching funds, bringing the total funds for training workers to more than $297,000.

“I am proud to announce May’s round of critical grants that will help workers develop skills for good jobs at New Hampshire’s growing businesses,” Governor Hassan said. “New Hampshire’s Job Training Fund is an important resource that has helped provide essential skills to thousands of workers. We need to continue developing a highly skilled workforce through job training and higher education in order to attract innovative businesses, help existing ones grow, and create jobs that can support a strong middle class.”

XMA Corporation of Manchester received a grant of $28,650 for training 24 employees in software, soldering, Six Sigma, accounting skills, customer service, conflict management, performance management, ISO, sales development training, safety and communications skills with Manchester Community College and others as trainers.

Green Mountain Communications, Inc., of Pembroke received a grant for up to $18,380 for training 18 employees in Anritsu, ibWave, project management, fiber optic installation and PIM using Primus Electronics and others as trainers.

North American Equipment Upfitters, Inc., of Hooksett will use its $49,356 grant and the company’s matching funds to train 36 employees in aerial lift and body installation at Manchester Community College.

Company C of Concord received a grant of $2,388 and will train 40 workers in management and MS Project training using NHTI and New Horizons as trainers.

A grant of up to $32,571 was awarded to Contitech Thermopol, Inc., of Somersworth for training from NHMEP and Great Bay Community College for up to 170 employees in LEAN, Value Stream Mapping, Kaizen, team involvement, problem solving and supervisory skills.

FlexEnergy Energy Systems, Inc., of Portsmouth was awarded a grant of $10,200 for training from NHMEP for 14 employees in ISO 9001:2008 training.

Wire Belt Company of American, Inc., of Londonderry received a grant award of $3,500 and will match the grant to train 2 employees in Six Sigma Green Belt using NHMEP as the trainer.

Community Crossroads, Inc., of Atkinson will use its $3,675 grant and the company match to provide training for up to 20 employees in Word and Excel training at Nashua Community College.

The Job Training Fund has awarded $5,930,190.89 in grants since October 2007, with employers contributing $8,513,042.36 for a total of $14,444,433.25 in new training for 17,643 New Hampshire workers.

Companies interested in applying to the Job Training Fund should visit the fund’s web site at www.nhjobtrainingfund.org.


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