Business News

Gas and Plumbing Industry Career Training At Granite State Trade School
By Penny Williams   3-20-14

Newly settled in Raymond, Granite State Trade School is the stepping stone to a career for those interested in the gas industry. It is also where Continuing Education courses can be taken and where license testing can be found.

James Fusco started Granite State Trade School in 2006 and moved to the Raymond location at the end of 2013. The school offers comprehensive, customized training solutions for gas industry careers as well as for plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). The hands-on learning that accompanies classroom instruction leads participants to becoming licensed and ready for better paying jobs within the industry.

“I recognized there was a need for training for the natural and LP gas industry,” Fusco said. “I was a trainer for the natural gas industry at Energy North and when they discontinued service, there was no one to fill the spot for training. The New Hampshire Legislature had put together regulations and requirements for certification for licensing for people who work with gas, and it is a three-step process.”


Granite State Trade School


Fusco decided to fill that training gap, and Granite State Trade School was born. He provides the courses that lead to state licensing, and his program is approved by the Department of Safety and the State Fire Marshal. The school offers classes required for the New Hampshire license in natural and LP gas.

The curriculum he developed was customized to address requirements for both natural and LP gas. But Fusco also offers Continuing Education courses in plumbing and gas fitting.

The school started out in Hooksett and moved to Manchester in 2011, but all the while Fusco was on the lookout for a permanent space where he could expand. He found the Raymond location at 42 Old Manchester Road and moved in December 2013.

“I have finally found the location that can be permanent so I can make the investment to set up a proper, full service training facility with all the necessary equipment I need,” he said. “This place came with an added advantage and benefit since it had already been approved as a school.”

The location formerly housed the Center of Optimum Learning (COOL).

“The move to this Raymond location will allow us to offer a lot more,” he added. “We are in the process of getting more equipment set up and installed that will increase the demonstration capability, giving students a better opportunity to get first-hand experience in the industry.”


Granite State Trade School


His courses lead to the New Hampshire license by meeting the three steps to full licensure. The first step, he explained, requires six months in the field and 48 classroom hours; the second step is another six months in the field and 24 hours of classroom work; and the final step requires an additional year in the field and 24 more classroom hours. If the student passes the final exam, he or she would qualify as a licensed Certified Service Technician.

“Continuing education (CE) courses are required,” he said. “We provide courses to meet the New Hampshire requirement of eight hours of CE every two years.”

Granite State Trade School is also approved by the Department of Labor for courses for plumbing apprenticeship. Fusco said these courses will begin in the spring.

And he will be offering oil burner training classes and training and classes for those interested in HVAC. His plans are to develop the HVAC courses into a full two-year program.

Classes are small by design because Fusco thinks having no more than eight to 12 students allows for a better learning atmosphere and more hands-on work.

His program allows students to be employed full time and still attend school. He offers night classes twice a week, and they are the same programs as offered during the day. Evening classes are either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. The day classes are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, Continuing Education classes are offered.

He offers the New Hampshire State Gas License Exam the second Monday of the month for first timers, people coming from another jurisdiction, and those looking to re-establish their license. He also provides Testing Proctor Services for the National Plumbers and HVAC training program. And he offers NATE (North American Technician Excellence) Program training for HVAC technicians.

The industry requirements for license for the gas industry are not consistent across states so applicants must meet each state’s requirements and take individual state exams, but he said his program’s courses are recognized by New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.


Granite State Trade School



Fusco said some in-house scholarship funding is available, as well as some Continuing Education financial aid. While Fusco is the principle instructor and trainer, he has others who come in on a regular basis to help.

“I have hesitated to hire because it really takes a special person to be able to train and teach,” he said. “I plan to bring some in but I will be very particular as to whom I bring in for instructors. I intend to continue to add trainers and equipment, tools, and devices so we can offer high quality training opportunities to our students.”

For information about Granite State Trade School, its courses and registration, call the school at 895-4444. He said his two assistants, Cindy Townsend and Madeline Gaumont, handle the registrations and office work. Information can also be found on his Web site at




















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