AN ACT establishing the New Hampshire workforce pathway program and commission.


SPONSORS: Sen. Kahn, Dist 10; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Whitley, Dist 15; Sen. Prentiss, Dist 5; Sen. Rosenwald, Dist 13; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 1; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Rep. Ladd, Graf. 4; Rep. Myler, Merr. 10; Rep. Luneau, Merr. 10








This bill establishes a workforce pathway program and commission in the community college system of New Hampshire.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One


AN ACT establishing the New Hampshire workforce pathway program and commission.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  New Subdivision; Workforce Pathway Program and Commission.  Amend RSA 188-F by inserting after section 69 the following new subdivision:

Workforce Pathway Program and Commission

188-F:70  Definitions.  In this subdivision:

I.  "High demand workforce credential" means a credential that is:

(a)  Necessary for performing functions of an occupation based on standards developed or endorsed by employers and/or the office of professional licensure and certification.

(b)  Portable and recognized by multiple employers, educational institutions, and across geographic areas where appropriate.

(c)  Competency-based.

(d)  Convertable, valid, and relevant in the workplace, and able to be continuously updated to workplace needs.

(e)  Reviewed for articulated credit into postsecondary degree programs.

(f)  Part of a career pathways framework and lead to an industry-recognized credential or a postsecondary degree.

II.  "Workforce training certificate provider" means the community college system of New Hampshire, career and technical education centers, and apprenticeship programs including those recognized by the United States Department of Labor.

III.  Workforce training program" means programs that are credit, noncredit, or convertible into credit through competency-based equivalency, which lead to certificate completion in not more than 6 months.

IV.  "Job-entry position" means a position requiring a high school graduation and/or a certificate of completion of post-high school education.

V.  "Job-ready credential" means a credential that, through education, provides a basis for future experience and education necessary for attaining higher skills, higher salaries, and increased mobility.  

188-F:71  Workforce Pathway Program Established.

I.  There is hereby established the workforce pathway program which shall be administered by the community college system of New Hampshire.  The purpose of the workforce pathway program is to advance the skills and placement of unemployed and underemployed New Hampshire adults into high demand, job-entry positions by providing job-ready credentials through a certificate program, offered by a workforce training certificate provider, lasting no more than 6 months and at no cost to participants.  The workforce pathway program shall use existing mechanisms to fill jobs in designated workforce sector priority areas, and use resources from federal Workforce Opportunity Investment Act allocated to the state, employment security job training funds under RSA 282-A:182, and community college system of New Hampshire   s financial aid programs, that include qualifying students for federal Pell Awards.

II.(a)  The workforce pathway program shall provide training to furloughed, laid off, dislocated, underserved, or other populations affected by COVID-19 to fill employment gaps in the state and develop short-term pre-employment training and short-term early employment training for student and workforce participants that meet the needs of businesses creating jobs and economic growth in the state.

(b)  The workforce pathway program commission shall identify programs that qualify under this section.

(c)  The community college system of New Hampshire, in partnership with the department of employment security, shall identify students who qualify under this subdivision.

III.  The workforce pathway program shall:

(a)  Partner with the department of employment security, department of economic affairs    director of workforce development, and career and technical education centers.

(b)  Partner with businesses that have significant hiring demands for job-entry occupations in the state.

(c)  Coordinate with the department of employment security, education agencies and providers, and employers to create effective recruitment initiatives to attract student and workforce participants and business participants to the program.

188-F:72  Workforce Pathway Commission Established.  

I.  There is hereby established a workforce pathway program commission in the community college system of New Hampshire, which shall consist of the following members:

(a)  The chancellor of the community college system of New Hampshire, or designee.

(b)  The director of the division of economic development, department of business and economic affairs, or designee.

(c)  The commissioner of the department of employment security, or designee.

(d)  The administrator of the bureau of career development, division of learner support, department of education.

(e)  The executive director of the office of professional licensure and certification, or designee.

(f)  The commissioner of the department of corrections, or designee.

II.  The commission shall:

(a)  Identify job-entry level occupations in high demand sectors that can be credentialed for in less than 6 months.

(b)  Identify educational pathways to credentials for occupations in high demand sectors.

(c)  Identify financial resources that will pay educational providers for services.

(d)  Identify means to counsel unemployed and underemployed adults into high demand workforce credential programs offered by workforce training certificate providers.

(e)  Identify and make available all eligible state and federal financial resources that eliminate participant costs and reimburse costs of certificate program providers.

III.  In the event of a vacancy, a new member shall be appointed for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.

IV.  The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the chancellor of the community college system of New Hampshire and shall be held within 90 days of the effective date of this section.  The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members at the first meeting.  Four members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

V.  No later than December 1, 2021, and annually thereafter, the  commission shall submit a report to the governor, speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and state librarian that includes but is not limited to the following: the number of people who have completed and not completed a certificate program categorized by standard industrial classification sector and the source and amount of financial assistance provided to students under the workforce pathway program.  

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.