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Concrete Steps - to Success!

Taking Measured, Immediate Action...

Karen and Jay share the importance of taking concrete steps along the pathway to success.

If you want to achieve success, it takes more than a vision. Not just some general direction or aspiration.  While a vision can be a very helpful starting point, it takes concrete steps in a definite direction – executed with confidence and purpose – to ultimately achieve success.  In other words, it takes action.  Especially those first few concrete steps that put you into motion and start you on your journey to success. 


Without a clear roadmap and actionable plan, you may find yourself adrift, lacking direction and focus. Concrete steps provide structure, accountability, and momentum, guiding individuals towards their goals with purpose and determination.

Take, for example, Serena Williams, one of the most accomplished athletes in tennis history. From a young age, Williams exhibited exceptional talent and determination, but it was her rigorous training regimen and unwavering commitment to improvement that set her apart. Williams and her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, meticulously crafted a plan that included daily practice sessions, fitness training, and strategic analysis of opponents. By following these concrete steps with discipline and dedication, Williams ascended to the pinnacle of her sport, capturing numerous Grand Slam titles, and solidifying her legacy as one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Similarly, in the world of entertainment, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter exemplifies the power of identifying and pursuing concrete steps towards success. From her early days as a member of Destiny's Child to her solo career as a singer, songwriter, and actress, Beyoncé has consistently set and achieved ambitious goals. Behind her meteoric rise to fame lies a tireless work ethic and meticulous attention to detail. Beyoncé carefully plans every aspect of her career, from album releases to concert tours, ensuring each step aligns with her artistic vision and personal brand. Through relentless determination and a strategic approach, Beyoncé has become an icon of modern pop culture, inspiring millions worldwide.

Real-life examples such as Serena and Beyoncé demonstrate the transformative power of setting clear goals, crafting actionable plans, and executing them with unwavering determination. By taking deliberate and meaningful steps towards your objectives, you can overcome obstacles, maximize your potential, and ultimately achieve greatness in your chosen endeavors. 

I urge you to identify the steps in your own life that will lead to the success you desire.  Then, once outlined, please summon up the energy to boldly embark on those first few steps.  When you do so, you will be well on your way to achieving your goals!

The Change in Education: Creating Career Stepping-Stones

The world of education is changing – and we can see how the concept of stackable credentials allows individuals right here in New Hampshire take concrete steps to success.  As you may be aware, New Hampshire boasts a 2.5 percent unemployment rate, ranking it as the 6th lowest in the country. This signifies a dire need for skilled employees within companies. Additionally, Paul Leblanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), notes that the average American worker changes jobs every five years and often continues working into their 70’s and 80’s. The benefits and utility of micro-credentials, particularly their ‘stack-ability,’ are reshaping traditional higher education programs. All of this necessitates individuals and companies adjusting to a vastly different world than that of previous generations.


A stackable credential, as defined by the US Department of Labor, is a series of credentials that can be accumulated over time to enhance an individual's qualifications, facilitating advancement along a career pathway or up a career ladder towards different, potentially higher-paying roles - essentially, building blocks or stepping-stones to more advanced credentials.


Michael Mengers, director of the Career Advancement and Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), defines a micro-credential in its most basic form as a digital representation of academic achievement or skill acquisition. There are over a million such credentials offered throughout the U.S. These focus on single skills or sets of related skills, enabling individuals to develop expertise in targeted areas more efficiently.


While traditional four-year programs still hold value, many companies cannot afford to wait that long. Consequently, due to the issues described above, they are increasingly open to accepting these types of credentials. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Collegis Education and UPCEA, 95 percent of employers view employees earning micro-credentials positively. Furthermore, 70 percent of them report that micro-credentials have helped fill skills gaps and improve workforce quality.


Additional benefits of stackable and micro-credentials include fostering a culture of continuous learning, aiding in adaptation to evolving industry trends and technological advancements. Regularly earning new credentials keeps professionals up-to-date and enhances their employability. Individuals can design personalized learning paths by stacking credentials in alignment with their career goals, and these credentials serve as tangible evidence of competence in specific skills or domains, simplifying the showcase of expertise to employers.

Since micro-credentials focus on specific skills, they are often more cost-effective and time-efficient compared to traditional degree programs, making them accessible for professionals seeking to upskill or reskill. Some industries and employers recognize and value specific stackable credentials, enhancing credibility and competitiveness in the job market. These credentials also facilitate the development of a diverse skill set, crucial for entrepreneurship and innovation, where adaptability and a broad skill base are essential.


Just as there are numerous choices in a grocery aisle for similar products, today offers a plethora of educational opportunities. It's evident that our world is changing rapidly, especially with the continuous advancements in Big Data, Machine Learning, and A.I. Hence, it's crucial to stay updated on both traditional and new learning pathways. The abundance of opportunities is beneficial for those in the workforce and even for those yet to enter it.  And, it’s all about laying out the ‘concrete steps’ that will allow you to build an educational foundation for success!

Carroll Concrete - Cementing its Market Presence!

It’s hard to have concrete steps – without concrete.  And in a very tangible way, Carroll Concrete of Newport, NH is one of those true local success stories – that has been built on the principle of yes, taking a series of concrete steps.  Today the company has 14 plants throughout New Hampshire and Vermont – along with 75+ mixers on the road.  However, this was not always the case.


The Carroll Concrete company, a pioneering entity within New Hampshire's construction landscape, traces its roots back to 1959 when it began as Eaton Jones Sand and Gravel Co., Inc. Founded on the principles of quality and innovation, the company underwent a transformation in 1973 under the stewardship of Shaun P. Carroll, who rechristened it as Newport Sand & Gravel Co., Inc. This marked the dawn of a new era for the enterprise.


Embracing diversification, Carroll Concrete made a significant foray into the ready-mix business in 1979. With the acquisition of a batch plant and three ready-mix trucks, Carroll Concrete swiftly cemented its presence in the market, setting up operations at the Newport Sand and Gravel pit. This strategic move not only expanded the company's portfolio but also fortified its position as a key player in the construction sector.


Over the years, Carroll Concrete's commitment to excellence propelled its growth trajectory. With a keen eye on expansion, the company ventured into new territories, acquiring additional locations, and bolstering its operations. This strategic expansion enabled Carroll Concrete to cater to a broader clientele while maintaining its unwavering dedication to quality and customer satisfaction.


Today, Carroll Concrete stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of innovation and resilience. With a rich history spanning over six decades, the company continues to shape the landscape of New Hampshire's construction industry, one project at a time. Or as some would say, one concrete step after another!

Positive Profile of the Week - Matt Laliberte

This week we are delighted to highlight a great friend and successful leader in the Granite State – Matt Laliberte.  

Matt is a second-generation business owner. He took over the reins of Ripano Stoneworks in Nashua, New Hampshire, from his father.  Ripano Stoneworks specializes in granite and stone countertops, vanities, and other custom stonework. Using cutting-edge technology, Matt and his dedicated team have been creating natural and engineered stone options for both residential and commercial projects all over the United States. From his young days working on the production floor to years in the sales room, Matt has learned every aspect of his family business and can, without a doubt, be the solid foundation of his family business. But it’s not just his commitment to the family business that defines Matt; it’s his dedication and passion for giving back to his community.


Matt is an incredible leader but an even better friend. Matt recently held the position of President of the Nashua West Rotary. Living by the Rotary’s motto of "Service Above Self," Matt is a tireless individual always stepping up to make a difference. Matt has served on several event committees in his Rotary and has participated in the execution of events to raise money for several causes. From the 100 Holes of Golf to the Duck Derby, Matt has been involved in programs that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help those who need it most. And he doesn't stop!


Matt and his wife, Allison, recently competed in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. Matt is an avid outdoorsman, and in the winter months, he can be seen with his family hitting the slopes of Cannon Mountain.  Thank you, Matt, for all you do!  We love your spirit and energy!

Quotes of the Week:  Concrete Steps to Success

"Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier


"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." - Lao Tzu


"You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." - Martin Luther King Jr.


"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill


"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - Franklin D. Roosevelt



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