NHBB Unique Industry Partnership

Manufacturing boot camp
River Valley Community College helps train new employees at New Hampshire Ball Bearings through unique industry partnership
20th class of new-hire Manufacturing Bootcamp about to begin at Keene Academic Center Machine Tool Lab
Claremont, New Hampshire – Since 2014, New Hampshire Ball Bearings (NHBB) in Peterborough has helped its new employees learn key manufacturing skills through an 80-hour new-hire Manufacturing Bootcamp offered in partnership with River Valley Community College (RVCC). Customized by RVCC for NH Ball Bearings employees’ needs, the class teaches students how to read blueprints, basic CNC machine operation, shop math, and how to use precision measuring devices, at the Keene Academic Center Machine Tool Lab. Now in its second year and 19th class, the program is a hallmark example of how the Community College System of New Hampshire approaches partnerships with local businesses.
“Manufacturing Bootcamp for new hires at New Hampshire Ball Bearings is an ideal complement to the traditional onboarding activities when new employees join the company,” said Shelia O’Brien, human resources divisional trainer at NH Ball Bearings. “The technical curriculum is relevant to our company and offers hands-on experience that enables a new member of the team to have an increased level of comfort around machinery.”
The entry-level, non-credit training enables NHBB to hire people with little to no manufacturing experience and ensure they receive high quality, consistent and safe training. The cost of the training is covered by NH Ball Bearing and classes typically take place monthly for the company, one of the largest area employers that manufactures precision bearings and complex bearing assemblies for the aerospace, defense, medical, dental and high tech markets.
And after a new employee completes the program, a certificate of completion adds to their credentials. NHBB – and other manufacturing facilities across the state – are clamoring for skilled workers to take advantage of the opportunities a career in manufacturing presents. Those opportunities include very competitive salaries, career growth and a role in a key sector in the New Hampshire economy.
“Transitioning to a new career can be a challenge,” said Robert Cortijo who completed NHBB’s Manufacturing Bootcamp last year. “The hands-on training was helpful because we use these skills daily at work, so coming into a new job with no formal manufacturing experience was less intimidating.”
And that is exactly what RVCC hoped to accomplish when it adapted an existing manufacturing certificate program to specifically meet the needs of NHBB’s future employees.
“By aligning a person’s skills and employer needs, we’re setting everyone up to succeed and help companies grow,” said Ramie Fletcher, instructor for the Bootcamp. “Understanding the expectations, technology, terminology and tools that are used at NHBB equips new employees with the foundation to build a career with exponential potential.”
The partnership with RVCC and NHBB is of the many ways RVCC is helping close the gap between the state’s projected workforce needs and reality that there are too few people choosing careers in the promising advanced manufacturing sector. RVCC’s Business and Industry Training Center is geared to fulfill the training needs of any company’s workforce, and has training centers in Claremont, Keene and Lebanon. To learn more about supplementing your company’s training activities, email Gregg Solovei at gsolovei@ccsnh.edu; for more information about advanced manufacturing certificate and associate degree programs, visit rivervalley.edu.
About River Valley Community College
River Valley Community College is one of seven colleges in the Community College System of New Hampshire, offering thirty-nine associate degree and certificate programs in Claremont, Keene, Lebanon, and Online. Financial Aid and Scholarships are available. 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% of NH citizens to have some form of post-secondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands. 


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