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Dealer hosts college’s motorcycle certification program

A Harley-Davidson dealership has agreed to sponsor and host in-house a new motorcycle training certificate program for Great Bay Community College (GBCC) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, this fall. 

Seacoast Harley-Davidson, of North Hampton, N.H., will sponsor the Certificate in Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair Technology at GBCC. Classes for the 24-week certification will be held at Seacoast Harley-Davidson’s North Hampton dealership on Route 1, where the company is constructing a new lab in preparation for the first cohort of students that will begin the program in September. Instructors from GBCC and master technicians from Seacoast Harley-Davidson will prepare students for work in the increasingly sophisticated and complex field of motorcycle technology through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on skill development.

“This sponsorship is the first of its kind that we know of in this field, especially in this area,” said Al Contois, owner of Seacoast Harley-Davidson. “Given that New Hampshire ranks second in the nation for motorcycle ownership on a per capita basis, the ability to work with Great Bay Community College to create a brand-new program based on an identified community need is exciting and empowering for local businesses like ours.” 

“As with many technical occupations, connecting employers with the next generation of skilled workers is an important priority that requires working together and creative thinking,” said Will Arvelo, GBCC president. “We appreciate and enjoy when local businesses — such as Seacoast Harley-Davidson — take initiative to help create training opportunities that enable students and businesses to thrive, because it’s precisely why GBCC exists in the first place.”

Seacoast Harley-Davidson's technician Jared Midwood

The certificate was prompted by the need for a local training option, as most of the schools that specialize in certifications for motorcycle technicians are in the south or southeast and too far away to be affordable and accessible for most New Hampshire residents. GBCC and the team at Seacoast Harley-Davidson were also in the unique position to provide classroom and lab space for the program with the additional benefit of building relationships with community members and the prospect of bringing new jobs to the area. Seacoast Harley-Davidson worked closely with GBCC to develop curriculum, student supply lists, and insight into the skills valued most by employers. By hosting the entire program at the dealership, students gain familiarity — and thus confidence — with working in a high-tech maintenance facility.

The program has been approved for financial aid and enrollment is currently open to anyone interested in building a career in motorcycle service, repair and maintenance. Admission requirements include a completed application, proof of high school completion or equivalent and a valid motorcycle license. 

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