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Huot Center prepares high school students for success in the careers in business

LACONIA — This month thousands of New Hampshire students will walk across the stage to receive their high school diploma. In the Lakes Region, this includes approximately 150 graduating seniors who attended two years at the J. Oliva Huot Career and Technical Center. While the Huot does not technically hand out diplomas, the center does take great pride in the graduation plans of their seniors. This year, 74 Huot students will go onto post-secondary education, 43 of whom will be working and attending school at the same time. All together, the Huot class of 2015 earned 221 college credits through the Running Start program at Lakes Region Community College, saving their families $41,000 in tuition. This year's Huot graduates also included thirty-eight students secured full- time employment.

When asked how the Huot helped them to become college-and-career ready, students replied with a variety of answers. "The Huot helps you achieve so much more than you would ever imagine," says Bridgette Robichaud of Franklin, an Allied Health student. Bridgette has enrolled in the Dental Assistant Program at New Hampshire Technical Institute.
"My teachers taught me new skills and I reached many great accomplishments. More importantly, the class taught me how to cope with failure" explains Liam Gove, who entered the Automotive program from Winnisquam Regional High School. Liam has secured a position as a boat technician with Winnisquam Marina. These sentiments were echoed by, Joe Judkins, another Winnisquam student attending the Building Construction program. "The Building Class taught me many professional and personal skills; this built my self-confidence and ability to decide to join the military." Joe is one of 10 Huot seniors who has opted to pursue a career in the armed services.
Over the past few years the Huot Center has significantly increased the number of college credits students can earn while still in high school. One example of this credit-earning potential is Mikayla Bordeau from the Huot's Careers in Education program who has managed to earn 14 college credits while in high school including 11 from her class at the career center. Mikayla has secured a position with Lakes Region Child Care Services, Inc. and has enrolled in the Elementary Education program at Plymouth State University.
While the majority of Huot students transition directly into a related field the workplace readiness skills can be transferred into a number of different career paths. Dacey Lecuyer, a Culinary Arts student, is taking the teamwork and customer service skills she learned through culinary arts in a different direction. "The program has taught me self-discipline and gave me confidence to be prepared for cosmetology school." Dacey has enrolled at Empire Beauty School in Laconia.
For five years running the Huot Center has achieved a 100% pass-rate on the state exam for Licensed Nurse Assistants. One of this year's candidates, Nicole Rosas of Belmont, could not be more pleased with her experience at the Huot Center and the opportunities it has provided for her future. "The program and my required 60 plus clinical hours helped me decide what I wanted to do after graduation. My teachers gave me great support and were always encouraging." Nicole is enrolled in Arizona State University's Nursing Program, and plans on working as a Licensed Nursing Assistant while attending school. Another student heading off to college this fall will be Brenton Clarke from the Huot's Pre-Engineering program. "The Huot helped me create a solid foundation for a career in design, I was given the ability to use the latest version of industry standard CAD software, allowing me to prepare for college level work as well as my chosen career in design." Brenton is attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, majoring in Industrial Design.
Closer to home, Multi-Media student Carly DeNauw plans on starting her post-secondary studies at Lakes Region Community College this Fall. "The program taught me project management and the importance of quality of work" says DeNauw. Also staying in the Lakes Region is Isaac Muniz from the Plumbing and Heating program. "This program gave me knowledge, understanding and opportunity, through hands-on learning experience, to become an apprentice. Learning was a lot of fun and a great way to gain industry required skills." Isaac has secured a full-time plumbing apprenticeship with Joe Boxer Plumbing and Heating, LLC. An upturn in residential construction has lead to 90% of graduating Plumbing and Heating students securing full-time employment before graduation. This year also saw the addition and expansion of programs at the Huot Center. Inter-lakes Senior, Emilie Haight, spoke highly of her experience in the first ever Hospitality class at the Huot Center. In addition to classroom time, students spent one-day a week at the Marriot Townplace Suites in Gilford. "The program and the internship helped me learn so much about the industry. It was a great experience." Emilie is attending Johnson and Wales University for Event Planning. LHS student Aaron Smith also had good things to say about the expanded Law Enforcement program. "The class validates what you want to do and gives you a real insight into what you can expect from the career you want or don't want!" Aaron's lofty future goals include enlisting in the military, obtaining his criminal justice degree and eventually hoping to work at the Laconia Police Department.
Even as teachers wish their departing seniors luck in their future endeavors work is starting for next year's incoming class. The Huot anticipates an overall enrollment of around 460-470 students next fall making it one of the larger centers in the state.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 June 2015 06:18

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Irwin Ford raises nearly $2,000 for LHS

LACONIA — Irwin Ford was once again chosen by the Ford Motor Company as one of a limited number of national dealers to host the semi-annual Drive One 4 UR School fundraising event. On Wednesday, March 20, Irwin Ford hosted this even at Laconia High School to raise money for the sophomore and junior classes. Under the Drive4URSchool program, members of the community meet at a local high school to test drive a new Ford vehicle. For each household that takes a test drive, Ford donates $20 to the school, up to $6,000.

Irwin Ford and Laconia High School are proud to announce that they were able to raise nearly $2,000 to help support LHS.

Drive4URSchool was launched by the Ford Motor Company in 2007 as a way to support local schools while connecting more people with the Ford brand. In the first six years of the program, Ford donated over $20 million to schools.

Irwin Ford has partnered with LHS every year since 2012 to help support the school and looks forward to the next Drive One 4 UR School event, just a few months away.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 June 2015 06:04

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Bank of N.H. offers tips to improve credit score

LACONIA — In recognition of American Housing Month, Bank of New Hampshire is reminding consumers of the critical impact credit scores can have on housing.
"An important step to finding a home, whether you're renting or buying, is ensuring that you have a good credit history," said Thomas Drouin, SVP – chief retail lending and operations officer for Bank of New Hampshire. "A strong credit score will grant you access to better loans and as a result, better homes."

Bank of New Hampshire suggests the following tips to improve creditworthiness:

Request a credit score report – and make sure it is correct. A credit report illustrates credit performance, and it needs to be accurate when it comes time to apply for other loans – such as a mortgage. Everyone is entitled to receive a free copy of his or her credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies, but one must go through the Federal Trade Commission's website at www.annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228. Note that it may be necessary to pay for the numerical credit score.

Set up automatic bill pay. Payment history makes up 32 percent of a VantageScore credit score and 35 percent of a FICO credit score. The longer a person pays bills on time, the better the score. Avoid missed payments by setting as many bills to automatic pay as possible.

Build credit through renting. VantageScore's scoring model, created by the three major credit bureaus, will now weigh rent and utility payment records. This will allow it to score as many as 35 million people who previously couldn't get a credit score.

Keep balances low on credit cards and 'revolving credit.' Racking up big balances can hurt scores, regardless of whether the bills are paid in full each month. Scores often can be increased by limiting charges to 30 percent or less of a card's limit.

Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Keep this in mind the next time a retailer offers 10 percent off if an account is opened. However, if a new line of credit is needed, don't jump at the first appealing offer; compare rates and fees offered through mail solicitation, on the internet or at a local lending institution.

Don't close old, paid off accounts. According to FICO, closing accounts can never help a score and can in fact damage it.

If in credit trouble, talk to credit counselors. Using legitimate, non-profit credit counseling can help manage debt and won't hurt a credit score. For more information on debt management, contact the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (www.nfcc.org).

Bank of New Hampshire, founded in 1831, provides deposit, lending and wealth management products and services to families and businesses throughout New Hampshire. With 21 banking offices throughout New Hampshire and assets exceeding $1 billion, Bank of New Hampshire is the oldest and largest independent bank in the state. Bank of New Hampshire is a mutual organization, focused on the success of the bank's customers, communities and employees, rather than stockholders. For more information, call 1-800-832-0912 or visit www.BankNH.com.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 June 2015 02:22

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NH Mutual Bancorp named Financial Business of the Year by magazine

MEREDITH — New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp (NHMB) and its subsidiaries, Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB), Merrimack County Savings Bank (The Merrimack) and MillRiver Wealth Management, have been chosen as Business NH Magazine's 2015 Business of the Year for the Financial Services category. The organization received the award on Wednesday, May 27 at Business NH's Annual Business of the Year Award Ceremony held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

In 2013, The Merrimack and MVSB formally allied under a mutual holding company, New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp – the first relationship of its kind in New Hampshire. This growing relationship has allowed the Banks to expand their service area, increase lending capacity, mitigate growing regulatory and technology costs and offer more career opportunities to their employee base.

Both Merrimack County Savings Bank and Meredith Village Savings Bank have similar histories of commitment to their communities. Employee volunteerism is a hallmark of the banks' cultures with total employee volunteer hours averaging over 15,000 each year. The Banks are also leaders in charitable giving within their respective communities, collectively giving back over $500,000 in 2014 alone.

"Paul and I are so pleased and honored to receive this public acknowledgment that, in our minds, was made possible by the hard work of our employees," said Sam Laverack, President and CEO of Meredith Village Savings Bank and Co-CEO of New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp.

"We are so appreciative of the loyal support of our employees, customers and community members as we have worked through some of the most significant changes in our Banks' histories," said Paul Rizzi, President and CEO of Merrimack County Savings Bank and Co-CEO of New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp. "This recognition reaffirms our decision to join forces as successful institutions so that we can continue to serve our communities for many years to come."

 

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2015 04:13

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