BERLIN – White Mountains Community College’s President, Dr. Charles Lloyd, recently toured one of the New Hampshire National Guard’s armories in Concord where he learned about a recent rescue from the Franconia Ridge in the White Mountains. He saw firsthand how the guard maintains its large equipment through specialized technical training. Recognizing the overlap between WMCC’s technical and trades-based programs and the technician training military personnel receive, a partnership between the two organizations was formed.
Beyond program alignment, there is also an opportunity for National Guard members who are not deployed on missions to become part of the “College First” program. College First prevents soldiers from being involuntarily activated for stateside or overseas missions for the first two years of their college enrollment and are ideally suited for community college education.
“The partnership between WMCC and the NH National Guard can be multi-faceted and collaborative, since we can serve those members in the College First programs and other servicemembers with an interest in hands-on experience, such as the large equipment used by the military,” said Lloyd. “For example, after a person graduates from a military training program on heavy diesel equipment, they could apply the credits from the military transcripts to WMCC’s Diesel Heavy Equipment Technology program and satisfy technical program requirements in order to become a certified diesel automotive mechanic.”
The benefit of having military training interchangeable with college credit hours allows servicemembers to put the skills and knowledge they have already earned toward either a degree or certification.
WMCC and SSG. Adam Rich, NH National Guard recruiting and retention officer, will continue discussions about additional training and partnership opportunities. Rich sees many additional areas of alignment among WMCC programming including helicopter mechanics, nursing and medical, criminal justice, culinary arts, welding and machining, plumbing, electrical, truck drivers, human resources and more.
“Getting a college education and serving your country at the same time can be done in parallel,” said Rich. “The National Guard partners with colleges like WMCC to create and enhance those transferable skills for rewarding employment opportunities. Partnering with the college was a natural fit for us at several levels and we look forward to further building our relationship.”