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Seacoast Manufacturing Exchange Bringing Businesses, Schools Together

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ROCHESTER — City Manager Daniel Fitzpatrick and Superintendent of Schools Michael L. Hopkins are pleased to announce that the Rochester Office of Economic and Community Development last month held a meeting of the Seacoast Manufacturing Exchange.

The quarterly forum allows business leaders representing the diverse manufacturing and composite sectors in the region to connect with one another.

At the meeting, leaders discussed the importance of coming together to address their shared needs, including contributing to the development of a well-prepared local workforce and sharing the variety of career pathways available.

The Rochester Office of Economic and Community Development launched the Seacoast Manufacturing Exchange in October 2013 in order to act as an economic catalyst for the region’s manufacturers. It also serves as a marketplace of ideas to identify strategic partnerships and cultivate new business and collaborative opportunities.

One such partnership has been with the Rochester Schools and the Richard W. Creteau Technology Center at Spaulding High School, which it has fostered by inviting guidance counselors to its meetings and opening a dialogue about the essential skills that students will need when seeking jobs with area manufacturers.

“This program fosters a direct connection between our students and a diverse set of businesses and career opportunities,” Superintendent Hopkins said.”I am looking forward to strengthening our relationships with area employers and giving Rochester’s students a variety of pathways to pursue once they graduate.”

Manufacturers and guidance counselors have also discussed the importance of building both students’ enthusiasm and parental awareness about the benefits of manufacturing vocations like aerospace compositing and machining.

Past attendees at exchange meetings have included State Senators James Gray and David Watters, who raised legislative topics that impact manufacturing as well as a representative from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Office, who discussed electricity costs from a statewide perspective.

“The seacoast’s manufacturing community is continuing to grow and we are proud to support a group that helps encourage even more development,” City Manager Daniel Fitzpatrick said. “It’s important that we be proactive about working with area employers and maintain our thriving economy.”

At the October meeting, Seacoast Manufacturing Exchange participants will gather to discuss ongoing efforts to increase the stock of workforce housing, and will again invite school guidance counselors to further the discussion on preparing students who hope to enter the manufacturing industry.

The Exchange is limited to regional manufacturers that are invited to participate by the Office of Economic and Community Development. Seacoast region manufacturers who are interested in participating in the exchange should reach out to the organizers via e-mail by clicking here.

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