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Governor announces partnerships with WMCC


January 27, 2010
CONCORD — Governor Lynch announced two new initiatives to help stimulate the North Country economy in his state of the state address on Thursday.

"Even before the onset of this recession the North Country's economy lagged behind the rest of the state," he said. "That is why we are launching two new efforts to help North Country citizens build their own businesses and to connect North Country workers with jobs."

Both initiatives are partnerships between the state and White Mountains Community College. One will focus on people looking to start new businesses, and the other will focus on training people to work at the federal prison.

"The college will work with entrepreneurs to develop business plans, to help them develop marketing plans, and to connect them with financing and other resources," Gov. Lynch said of the first proposal. "This initiative will provide aspiring entrepreneurs in the North Country the technical support they need to build their own businesses and to create jobs for their neighbors."

The initiative, called the North Country New Business Launch Pad, will be modeled after a successful program from the Monadnock Region, WMCC President Kathy Eneguess said it an email to WMCC staff. "It will provide training and support to aspiring business owners in Coos, Northern Grafton and Northern Carroll Counties."

It will focus on the new opportunities coming to the region, such as the federal prison and sustainable energy. WMCC will work in concert with North Country Investment Corporation, Androscoggin Valley Economic Recovery Corporation, Cos Economic Development Corporation, MicroCredit New Hampshire, the Women's Rural Entrepreneurial Network, the Small Business Development Center, and local banks. WMCC will organize the program, but individuals will have access the resources of all of the partners.

"WMCC envisions the program will provide technical assistance to develop a business plan and financing, access to faculty, high speed Internet, and the college resource library," she said.

She called it a "non-traditional education approach."

The second effort will prepare workers for the scheduled opening of the federal prison in the fall.

"In September 2010, a new federal prison will open in Berlin, employing an estimated 300 people," the Governor said in his address. "North Country businesses and workers deserve to reap the economic benefits of this new facility. Let's make sure that these new jobs go to North Country workers."

"We will partner with White Mountain Community College," he said, "to train individuals who want to work at the prison and to provide technical assistance to companies that have goods and services to sell to the prison."

This initiative, President Eneguess said, is called the New Hampshire Talent Team Proposal. It will, "prepare local citizens for employment on federal projects," she said, "while also assisting incumbent and new businesses with the tools needed to become approved vendors for the provision of services and sales to State and Federal agencies."

It is based on a West Virginia model, she said. It will enlist a number of regional and statewide agencies as well, she said, including NH Works Centers, the Department of Resources and Economic Development, the City of Berlin, the Bureau of Prisons, Northern Human Services, AVER, NCIC, CEDC and the New Hampshire School to Work program.

"This is another way to keep WMCC on the move," President Eneguess said, while growing the region's economies.

Northern Human Services
Martin Lord Osman
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