Sebastien Mehegan / Administrative Executive Editor

Rachel Vitello

News Editor

On Tuesday, March 19, the Economic Development Committee met in Keene City Hall. According to the city of Keene’s official website, this committee works, “To take an inventory of economic development and redevelopment efforts happening in Keene and the Monadnock region with the intent of identifying potential opportunities for collaboration.” This meeting is of significance to Keene State College because potential collaboration between KSC, the city and local community colleges was discussed.

The topic of discussion for the meeting was workforce development training and education. Provost and Vice President for academic affairs at Franklin Pierce University James DuMond spoke about how FPU can help better support the workforce and the community in the Monadnock region. “We reach out as much as we can. We sponsor Radically Rural and the Trendsetter’s Awards,” DuMond said. “This is something we really believe in, giving back to the community as much as we can.”

One issue of importance for FPU is student retention and keeping graduates in the Monadnock region upon finishing college here. This is also a topic of relevance for KSC officials right now, and one of the reasons the campus climate survey is done.

“We are highly invested in seeing students stay in this region,” DuMond said. “If we have been successful in attracting them to our institution first, we really want to see them have these internship opportunities and to become part of the workforce in this region.”

Keene City Manager Elizabeth Dragon discussed a meeting she had with Keene mayor Kendall Lane and with FPU President Kim Mooney about how to connect college students in the region with local employers. “The possibility of some sort of event, like a workforce connect event, where students would be invited through maybe some sort of application to participate and then we could match them up with employers,” Dragon said.

A representative for the Cheshire Career Center in Keene was also present at the meeting. The career center serves 927 children, mostly Keene High School students. They help students gain advanced job skills and various certifications in multiple lines of work, like business, automotive and culinary arts. The Cheshire Career Center is in the beginning stages of working with KSC to create a program that helps prepare these students for college. It is early in the process however, so there is no further information at this time.

Coordinator of Workforce and Community Education at River Valley Community College in Claremont Dan Osborn spoke at the meeting about multiple issues facing RVCC and what the school is doing to move forward and collaborate with Keene and KSC. KSC President Melinda Treadwell spoke at the last Economic Development Committee meeting about future partnerships with community colleges to help make transfers simpler going forward.

“That, we hope, is a step in the right direction to increasing partnerships and college credit transfer and degree transfer between us and Keene State,” Osborn said. “It will help to get kids who otherwise may not see the financial pathway to a four-year degree. Now, if they can take classes both at River Valley and at a four-year school at the same time, is nothing but a win-win for everybody.”

The Economic Development Committee meets on the third Tuesday of every month on the second floor of Keene City Hall.

Rachel Vitello can be contacted at

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