Full Story - Great Bay Community College



Full Story - Great Bay Community College
Advanced Composites
Training at ATAC
Hiring prospects continue to be favorable for
graduates of GBCC’s Advanced Composites
Manufacturing Program
ROCHESTER, N.H. – On Wednesday, Aug. 13, sixteen students gathered at Great Bay Community College’s Advanced
Technology & Academic Center in Rochester with their instructors and families for a private reception to celebrate their
completion of the Advanced Composites Manufacturing certificate program.
The six month training program, qualifies students for employment in the high growth field of composites manufacturing
for aerospace and other industry sectors.
Of the 20 students who completed the ACM program prior to May 2014, 17 are now employed as CNC operators, paint
technicians, coordinate-measuring machine operators, bonding and finish operators and weaving technicians for companies including Safran Aerospace Composites, Albany Engineered Composites, Sig Sauer and Brazonics.
“Students from this most recent program are currently interviewing” said Bret Blanchard, instructor with the Advanced
Composites Manufacturing program. “Some have received offers and some are still sending resumes out…We are here to
support them and ask them to let us know when they get a job and to keep in touch while they are looking so we can assist.
We do continuously get calls from companies looking for applicants.”
Among the students completing the program this August was 55 year old Kevin Albertson of Rochester who came to the
program after 20 years in the military service. Recently hired as a Bonding Operator by Safran Aerospace Composites,
Albertson praised the combination of classroom and specialized training he received in helping him feel prepared to enter
the composites manufacturing industry. “I love working with my hands,” he said, “and being able to apply the knowledge
that I had already learned in the classes leading up to the specialty training was awesome.”
• Open House:
October 1
He also credited the WorkReadyNH courses included as part of the program in preparing him for the job search.
“They teach you how to write a cover letter, and how to do an “elevator speech” that prepares you to talk to a prospective
employer in 5 minutes or less about why you would be the perfect fit for an open position” he said. “I actually went to one
interview on a Thursday and received a call that following Tuesday offering me a position.”
While a majority of students find employment in their chosen field immediately after completing the six month certificate
program (and sometimes even before that), advanced training is also available, and credits are stackable. Debra Mattson,
Advanced Materials Manufacturing Program Director/Designer at GBCC explains that this provides students the option
of continuing education at their own pace, while developing marketable skills along the way. “Our students can continue to
learn while they earn, as a number of opportunities are available for those who choose to continue their education towards
a degree or advanced certification.”
Travis Preston, 27 of Wakefiled NH, also recently hired by Safran, plans on continuing his education and possibly pursuing
an Associate degree in Management. Previously working as a professional mover, Preston decided to enroll in the program
after researching the industry and hearing about opportunities. “I feel the class prepared me and what I have learned goes
hand in hand with job expectations.”
To date, four program sessions have been offered at GBCC’s Advanced Technology & Academic Center, each running at
full capacity. The number of cohorts offered and spaces available in each cohort will continue to ramp up over the next two
years to meet increased hiring demands.
“The word is getting out about our program as the need for these skilled workers continues to grow” said Mattson.
“We have been getting attention at the national level with requests for graduates coming in from places as far as North
Carolina and Michigan.”
Addressing the students for the final time, Andre Cocquyt, President Advanced Composites Services for Manufacturers,
and a technical consultant to the College’s program praised their hard work and commitment. “You have made one of the
best investments and are now part of one of the biggest growth industries” he said. “Now that you have made the
investment, capitalize on it and keep learning.”
Advanced Technology & Academic Center
5 Milton Rd Unit 32 Rochester, NH 03867
Debra Mattson,
Program Director
[email protected]
• Next Program
Starts: Oct. 27
Distinguished Leaders Awards:
October 2
• CAMX Expo:
October 16
GBCC presents:
Addressing the Workforce
Skills Gap
Great Bay Community College offers a 6 month
certificate program in Advanced Composites
Manufacturing to train composites technicians
for aerospace and other industry sectors. This
program was designed with input from
industry and meets competencies developed
by the U.S. Department of Labor for advanced
This project is sponsored in part a $19.97 million
grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration TAACCCT
Grant #TC-22504-11-60-A-33. The Community
College System of NH is an equal
opportunity employer, and adaptive equipment
is available upon request to persons with

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