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Local Employers Interested in Professional Development Opportunities for Their Employees

Submitted by on November 17, 2016 – 8:39 pm

Director of Recruitment and Admission Daniel Richer (right) and Dean Kim Burns (second from right) speak with representatives from The GEM Group after the Human Resources and Employer Information Session.

Employers and human resource professionals from around the Merrimack Valley attended Northern Essex Community College’s Human Resources and Employer Information Session, which took place at the Haverhill Campus’s Hartleb Technology Center on Nov. 15. Representatives from employers such as Fidelity Investments, The GEM Group and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center enjoyed refreshments and a lively discussion about Northern Essex’s impact on the local workforce.

Director of Recruitment and Admission Daniel Richer opened with an overview of the college, explaining the numerous ways Northern Essex can help corporations and organizations with their professional development needs. Since the college has a diverse selection of programs and a number of ways to access them — from three on-campus locations to hybrid and online courses and programs — partnering with Northern Essex can offer significant benefits for just about any kind of adult learner, he said.

“We want to be as accessible to people in the Merrimack Valley as we possibly can,” said Richer. “In fact, we tend to update our programs in order to reflect the needs of the workforce in the area.”

Richer was followed by a number of other speakers, including Kim Burns, dean of academic innovations & interim dean of professional development. Burns said that Northern Essex serves exactly the kind of potential students working for the employers in attendance: action-oriented, busy adults juggling both a work and home life.

Since these adult learners often don’t have room for a full-time education in their schedules, she said, the school has many offerings to expedite their process through secondary education. For example, some students qualify for “credit for prior learning”, while others might benefit from accelerated coursework or competency-based education programs.

And for those employees who might have military service on their resume, Northern Essex has a number of credit and support options — something she proudly associated with the school getting a prestigious “Best for Vets: Colleges”“Best for Vets: Colleges” designation for the second year in a row.

Alexis Fishbone, director of financial aid, was quick to point out just how easy the application process for student assistance really can be. While many people might think of it as a nightmarish affair, she said, some students can finish the application in as little as 9 minutes — and for those who might struggle or take a little longer, the financial aid office is more than happy to personally assist them in filling it out.

“Typically when people hear about financial aid, their heart skips a beat or their blood pressure goes up,” said Fishbone, eliciting many chuckles from the audience, “but our job in the FA office is to make it as easy as possible, whether you’re an 18-year-old student or an adult learner returning to the classroom after a long time away. Financial aid should not be the reason somebody doesn’t go back to school.”

Employers interested in learning more about professional development opportunities provided by Northern Essex should contact Danny Richer, director of recruitment and admission, or 978 556 3608.