New Hampshire's community colleges and four-year campuses are working together to turn out more high-tech graduates, promising to double the number in the next 13 years.
Last year, the four University System of New Hampshire schools and the 11 community colleges awarded about 8,200 degrees and certificates, including 1,100 degrees in science, technology, engineering or math. Under an agreement signed Tuesday, the latter number would increase by 50 percent by 2020 and double by 2025.
"For all practical purposes, we are the pipeline for New Hampshire's future. The NH economy is starting to rebound and we are adding jobs, but employers are telling us, `We need more skilled individuals,'" said Ed MacKay, chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire.
The state will not be able to compete effectively in the global economy or provide economic opportunities for its residents if it doesn't develop a workforce prepared for jobs in computer technology, advanced manufacturing and other industries, he said.