HP3, or Haverhill Public-Private Partnership, is the work of retired Army Lt. Gen. Jack Gardner. For more than two years, he has been developing HP3 for the purpose of helping every Haverhill public school student achieve a living wage job -- a job where they can have a good place to live, have transportation and raise a family.
Gardner lives in Alexandria, Virginia, but has been traveling to Haverhill monthly since 2018. He selected Haverhill for this project because of its demographics and how well the city represents growing population trends throughout the United States.
Gardner, who served in Iraq, Bosnia, Europe, Asia and Latin America, developed the concept over several years based on his experience living and working outside the U.S. as a military officer. His efforts come from his belief that every American should realistically be able to achieve a living wage career and is convinced that a community effort focused on that goal can succeed.
“This is an ambitious project with very high goals,” Gardner said. “We are building a program designed to reach every student and ensure that those who complete high school achieve a true living wage job. Every single one. This is our core focus, and we hope to eventually establish a model for other cities around the country. But we are thrilled to be launching it first in Haverhill, Massachusetts.”
Over the last few months, the partnership received multiyear funding from Crystal Engineering in Newburyport and financial support from the Haverhill mayor’s office. Additionally, the partnership office will reside with the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce.
“Lt. Gen. Gardner is dedicated to getting his HP3 project going in Haverhill, and it is the city’s honor to support his vision and goal to help every Haverhill public school student achieve a living wage job,” Mayor James Fiorentini said. “Jack has already introduced his program at many of our schools and to hundreds of our students and school families, and I look forward to more and greater successes of HP3 now that they are about to hire a full-time director and are also partnering with the Greater Haverhill Chamber.”
Up to this point the effort has been coordinated by volunteers. This fall, a full-time director from the local area will be selected to manage the various components of the program. These include informing students and parents on career fields, how to identify student interests and development of career plans, providing mentors to students and recent graduates where appropriate and providing transportation assistance.