Universities and Businesses as Partners in the Granite State
Dec 7, 2018
Franklin Pierce University President Kim Mooney '83 spoke at the Forum on the Future sponsored by NH Colleges and Universities Council (NHCUC) on Friday, December 7. The panel, moderated by NH Business Review editor Jeff Feingold, also included 1st District U.S. Congressman-elect Chris Pappas and 2nd District Congresswoman Annie Kuster, Liz Gray, director of the NH Small Business Development Center, and entrepreneur Jeremy Hitchcock, chair of the Community College System of New Hampshire board of trustees.
The Forum, with 160 area leaders in attendance, focused on the connections between higher education institutions and small businesses in the Granite State. Because small businesses are so vital to the New Hampshire economy, local colleges and universities are key partners in attracting and building a qualified workforce in the state.
President Mooney affirmed the commitment of higher education to serve the public good, which she says is strengthened by becoming a champion of the local economy. She shared three models of student-business partnership embraced by Franklin Pierce University: the "student as consultant" model and the "student as entrepreneur" model developed in the College of Business in support of regional business needs, and the "student as employee" model that is the basis for our unique partnership with C&S Wholesale Grocers where students participate in paid internships and co-op semesters that prepare them for employment after graduation.
Mooney concluded, "We all win if the students that NH colleges and universities recruit and educate become for our local small businesses, municipalities and partner organizations the volunteers, the interns, the co-op students, and ultimately the next generation of prepared employees in the state."