On Monday, Dec. 11 the U.S. Department of Commerce announced about $35 million for BAE Systems to modernize the Microelectronics Center (MEC) in Nashua. It’s the first funding announcement from the CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to strengthen manufacturing, supply chains, and national security in the US. The MEC develops advanced semiconductor technologies to meet military demand.
As local and state commitments contributed to the funding application, both the state of New Hampshire and the City of Nashua are offering workforce incentives through Nashua Community College (NCC). The state of New Hampshire will provide tuition assistance for NCC’s microelectronics bootcamp and the Nashua City Council is providing funds to establish a new clean room training course at NCC.
“Nashua Community College is poised to take this challenge,” said Jon Mason, Director of Workforce Development at NCC. “Our Microelectronics program is a solid foundation which has led to related training opportunities such as a Microelectronics Apprenticeship, a Soldering and a Precision Manufacturing Boot Camp, and a new Test Technician program which is currently under development.”
“BAE’s ongoing training initiatives have a ripple effect throughout our community,” said NCC President Lucille Jordan, “The skills and knowledge that our students gain through these programs not only benefit them, but also contribute to the growth and success of the local workforce and economy. This, in turn, strengthens the ties between our community college and the industry, creating a win-win scenario for all involved.”
More than 300 students have graduated from the Microelectronics Boot Camp, many of whom moved from living with housing and food insecurity to lucrative careers which have enabled them to thrive.
The Boot Camp has been a beacon of social mobility, with at least 75 students identifying as homeless before the camp, and becoming gainfully employed with BAE Systems and other industry partners after graduation. The support of BAE and industry partners, as well as community agencies such as MY TURN, the Front Door Agency, WIOA, and Marguerite’s Place, have come together to guide students to success.
Since the 30th Microelectronics Boot Camp class completed in November, the hiring rate for graduates stands at 97 percent. The NCC team intends to take the same comprehensive approach as new students enroll for workforce training opportunities.
About the Microelectronics Boot Camp
The Microelectronics Boot Camp was developed in partnership with BAE Systems to address the shortage of skilled candidates in microelectronics manufacturing. As a founding partner, all program graduates have the opportunity to interview with BAE Systems.
Boot Camp students have ranged in age from recent high school graduates to professionals in their 60s, including veterans and workers from other industries seeking a career change. Students are frequently supported by community partners including WIOA, the Front Door Agency, and MY TURN, INC. Alumni also return to mentor each new generation of students both on campus and in the workplace.
Microelectronics Boot Camps enroll throughout the year. Sessions are 10 weeks at 40 hours per week. To learn more, contact Jon Mason at [email protected], or 603.578.8900 x1763.
About Nashua Community College
Since 1970, Nashua Community College has been successfully meeting the educational needs of Greater Nashua by delivering a high quality two-year, post-secondary education. The college partners closely with area industries that provide students with a unique perspective in their fields of study, allowing for a real-world experience to further their academic journey. Students can choose from a variety of associate degree, certificate, and career training programs. Nashua Community College is a member of the Community College System of New Hampshire. 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. Learn more at nashuacc.edu.