---- — ANDOVER — A vice president of Raytheon says his company has had great success dealing with the region’s two community college’s corporate training programs.
“As employers we all know what the power of a skilled, educated and motivated workforce can do for productivity, innovation, quality and competitiveness,” Daniel J. Ryan, vice-president of operations of Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems, told a meeting of business and academic leaders last week.
“Our people make the difference. Our challenge as employers is to ensure that we have the right skills in-house to meet quickly evolving business needs, as well as to retain talent, and have a talent pipeline for long-term success,” Ryan said.
The Merrimack Valley Partners for Progress (MVPP), an alliance of Northern Essex Community College and Middlesex Essex Community College, along with workforce investment boards, chambers of commerce and community leaders, held a forum dubbed the Community College Advantage at which Ryan was the keynote speaker at the Andover Country Club on Friday, Oct. 26.
From large corporations to small “mom and pop” operations, businesses throughout the Merrimack Valley heard plenty of ideas during the forum on how the region’s two community colleges can help with their training and workforce needs.
Royall M. Mack Sr. of Andover, the chair of the MCC board of trustees and founder of the MVPP, told the forum attendees “we want you to leave here this morning with a better understanding of how investing in the growth and development of your employees and new employees by utilizing Middlesex and Northern Essex community colleges will help you grow in lean times and thrive in good times.”
Northern Essex President Lane Glenn said the two community colleges have over 30 years of corporate training programs under their belts. “Our clients have included businesses of all sizes — hospitals, nonprofits and public agencies. We can do it all for you. We can assess your needs manage your training programs and develop your curriculum.”
MCC President Carole Cowan said the community colleges are trying to align their goals with the mission put forth earlier this year by Gov. Deval Patrick, who has sought to match workforce needs to the community college models.
About 150 people attended the forum.