This is a big week for the aerospace industry on both sides of the international border we share with Quebec. Up in Montreal, 800 people from all over Canada and the world were in town for the Forum Innovation Aérospatiale 2013 – Aero Montreal’s Aerospace Innovation Forum.
Given that our aero/defense industries are growing, this was the place to start the week.
Aerospace is a big deal in Quebec and especially in Montreal, home to the likes of the big names – Bombardier, Bell Helicopter and Pratt & Whitney Canada. We could illustrate this with facts and figures, but one of the speakers on Monday’s program explained it like this:
“Montreal is one place in the world where you can find all the parts you need to build an airplane within 30 kilometers.”
Christopher Wrenn, left, of NHADEC signs the collaboration agreement with Aero Montreal.
“This is a big day for NHADEC and the state of New Hampshire,” said Christopher Wren of Gentex Corp. in Manchester, chairman of the export consortium, which was organized last March. “It’s important because we are such a young organization and it gives us the opportunity to partner with an organization that has a long history in aerospace. Our members will learn a lot, but we have a lot to offer to Aero Montreal.”
The agreement establishes preferred relations between the two organizations and encourages collaboration on topics such as training, research, joint trade missions and supplier development initiatives.
“This strategic collaboration will provide major opportunities for Quebec’s aerospace industry by encouraging trade and fostering partnerships between our two aerospace sectors,” said Suzanne Benoit, president of Aero Montreal, adding that it is the first step toward establishing a Quebec-New England aerospace corridor.
NHADEC was established by the International Trade Resource Center last March, one of the only export consortia in the country and boasts a membership of 70 companies. About 300 companies in New Hampshire have ties to the aero/defense industry and being able to tap into the connections, research and supply chain is going to be a great benefit to the sectors, which are growing in the Granite State.
“This signing really is an indication of the momentum we are building as a cluster,” said Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development. “Just as aerospace and defense are key industries here, it is in Montreal as well. As we grow this collaboration and grow our partnership, we’ll develop new opportunities for New Hampshire businesses.”
Canada is New Hampshire’s largest trading partner and we share an international border with Quebec. Montreal (depending on where you are) is only a couple of hours away. The prime driver of Quebec’s economy is aerospace and 98 percent of that activity takes place within the city limits.
So this is a collaboration whose time has come and with Monday’s signing, NHADEC and Aero Montreal are cleared for take-off.
A colleague lamented the other day that she catches herself thinking it’s only late September or early October, but here we are with Thanksgiving a little more than 5-hours-at-350-degrees away.
While we’re planning for the holiday and the guests who are on their way, chances are we are sparing a thought or two to after the leftovers are put away.
That’s when the start of the Christmas season goes into high gear and chances are, you’ll be stepping out to get a start on your list. A good day to head out would be Small Business Saturday, so declared by Gov. Hassan, who joins others around the nation in encouraging people to spend their holiday dollars on Main Street.
These merchants are the foundation of the communities in which we live. They do everything from giving our hometowns uniqueness and character to employing our neighbors and keeping the local economy robust and healthy. There are some very neat presents to be found and we are confident that in one of these stores, there is a perfect gift you may not find anywhere else.
When we get back from the Thanksgiving break on Monday (Dec. 2), we here at the Division of Economic Development have a busy couple of weeks coming up. We’re heading to Montreal to attend Aero Montreal’s Innovation Summit and we’re hosting our 18th annual meeting.
This year’s event is from 8:30 am to 2 pm, Dec. 11 at Church Landing in Meredith. The theme is Rock the Ages, focusing on the three generations in today’ workplace — the Boomers, Generation X and the Millennials — and how their experience, energy and imagination can be harnessed for economic success.
The event is free (thanks to sponsorship from Public Service of New Hampshire), but seating is limited. If you are interested in attending, please register here as soon as you can.
We trotted down to Londonderry Tuesday morning to Wire Belt Company of America, where president and CEO David Greer wielded a pair of scissors to cut a blue ribbon on the 12,000 square foot expansion of the plant.
We like ribbon cuttings and expansions of our manufacturing plants here in the Granite State. Mostly for the reasons David said on Tuesday morning.
“We are confident it clearly expresses our commitment to keep and grow manufacturing jobs here in New Hampshire,” he said.
Wire Belt is a fourth-generation, family-owned business that has been making stainless steel wire belt conveyer systems since 1947. The company relocated from Massachusetts to Londonderry in 1989 and our friends at Business New Hampshire magazine has named it the #1 Best Small Company to Work for in NH four times in the past five years.
The new addition gives Wire Belt more room and it’s energy efficient. With further growth in mind, the expanded roof will allow for the future extension of its solar energy system.
“Anything we can do to continue to grow manufacturing has got to be good for the economy,” Greer said.
Our friends at Epiphanies, Inc. are at it again…it’s time for the 2013 “A-Ha!” Social Business Summit, returning to Southern New Hampshire University next Friday, November 15th. There are still a few seats available for the live event, and there’s also a Digital Pass for you to watch it on your computer the same day, or anytime afterward for up to a year later. Check out the video preview they put together, which will tell you all about the presentations and panels they have planned (with a hint or two about the surprises they always have on tap).
The NH Division of Economic Development is proud to be the Founding Sponsor of this event, now in its fifth year. The event’s creators, Lani and Allen Voivod, got us into social media in 2009, and their passion for teaching, empowering and inspiring New Hampshire businesses, agencies, and organizations to evolve and flourish in today’s ever changing business landscape is extraordinary.
In-person at SNHU, online via livestream on 11/15; online via video on demand afterward
In addition to learning a TON of new ways to market businesses, boost visibility, build brands, and engage and expand audiences, attendees will leave feeling INSPIRED and empowered to take their missions to a new level in 2014 and beyond. Oh, and the networking is great – connections will be made with leaders and passionate professionals throughout the state. PLUS, there’s a free Networking Happy Hour right after the event from 4-5:30 pm, complete with apps, beverages, prizes, and socializing, of course.
The energy is high, the fun factor is off the charts. This is NOT a typical biz event. The room is filled with smart, talented movers and shakers who want to embrace the tools of the day and leverage their time and resources to be better, do better, and feel confident and excited about their place, prospects, and opportunities in this world.
We hope you’ll make time in your schedule for this social media, marketing, and success conference. Please stop by our table to say hello while you’re there!
Today’s blog comes to you from our friends at AMPed NH.
Innovation’s been the name of the game where the New Hampshire community colleges’ AMPed NH is concerned. And now AMPed NH is taking innovation in workforce development to a whole new level. It’s offering tuition-free courses and myriad academic and professional support services to as many as 2,000 new students who enroll in a core advanced manufacturing certificate program.
The Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships in Education is an initiative of New Hampshire’s seven community colleges, advanced manufacturers, state agencies and others formed to increase the highly skilled workforce through targeted training and education programs. It is funded by a $20 million TAACCCT grant from the U.S. DOL Employment and Training Administration.
AMPed NH is offering tuition-free courses to 2,000 students enrolling in a core advanced manufacturing certificate program.
AMPed NH has developed dozens of industry driven and approved training and education programs that directly meet the high-tech needs of New Hampshire’s advanced manufacturers. Its approach mirrors that of the industry itself: Lean. Clean. Precise. Smart. Students are taught the exact science, technology, math and engineering skills identified by manufacturers as necessary for success. In the colleges’ updated labs, students use state-of-the-art virtual machines before advancing into work with the same types of cutting-edge equipment used on professional design and production floors. The goal: A seamless transition from classroom to career.
Sector-specific certificate and associate degree programs build skills in concentrations such as mechatronics and automation/robotics, advanced composites manufacturing, engineering technology, advanced machine tool technologies, electronics and electromechanics and advanced welding, and satisfy the very specific skill-set needs of those sectors. But the community colleges also identified a common thread in the concerns expressed by NH’s manufacturers; a gap had developed in a core set of universal advanced manufacturing skills as technology advanced faster than the competencies of the workforce.
The innovative solution? Develop a core-curriculum certificate program to build the highly skilled workforce, then strip away the major barriers faced by students and job seekers considering enrollment.
With that, the Applied Career Fundamentals for Advanced Manufacturing Certificate was designed to prepare students for successful entry into the advanced manufacturing industry.
“The Applied Career Fundamentals for Advanced Manufacturing Certificate, and the decision by the community colleges to offer courses tuition-free for a limited time accelerates the enhancement of the pipeline,” said Ross Gittell, chancellor of NH’s community colleges. “This approach — which represents another innovation designed to bolster the NH economy— should generate interest statewide.”
Based on government competency models and industry feedback, the certificate program builds skills in science, math, composition, communication, business fundamentals and computer skills. Students will also select two manufacturing elective courses to round out the requirements. Credit awarded in the program will be fully transferrable between New Hampshire’s community colleges and may later be counted toward associate degree requirements.
Top concerns for job seekers and prospective students include cost, accessibility and fear of the technical nature of the program. To address these, classes within the advanced manufacturing core are available in online, traditional classroom and hybrid formats. Twenty-four-hour online academic support and networking resources are available through AMPedNH Connect and, finally, the colleges are solving the cost issue by offering one course per new student tuition-free for a limited time.
By offering the first course within the advanced manufacturing core tuition-free to up to 2,000 students systemwide, AMPed NH aims to accelerate the growth of the pipeline of highly-skilled advanced manufacturing workers in the state and throughout New England.
“This initiative should help to level the playing field for those who are interested in entering advanced manufacturing but who feel they do not know where the entry point is,” said Will Arvelo, president of Great Bay Community College and administrator for the TAACCCT grant. “We hope many will take advantage of getting on this path that will lead to well-paying jobs in New Hampshire.”
To learn more about the certificate program and how to enroll, contact the admissions office at your local New Hampshire community college. To learn more about AMPed NH and its full complement of training and education programs, visit www.ampednh.com.
The Tech Tax has been the talk south of the New Hampshire border for the past two months and although it appears that Massachusetts law makers are working on a repeal of the tax, Granite State businesses may want to keep an ear to the ground about another looming tax that could have an impact.
New tax legislation adopted by Massachusetts this past summer will impact many technology and services companies in New Hampshire and across the country. While a sales and use tax to computer design and software modification services, dubbed the ‘tech tax,’ was repealed in late September, another, less noticed, law changing how the income tax applies to service businesses will have far reaching impacts on New Hampshire companies.
The New Hampshire High Tech Council is sponsoring a special breakfast seminar this Wednesday to focus on the new income tax law. The event is co-sponsored by the law firm Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C., and the presentation will be led by tax attorneys Bill Ardinger, Chris Sullivan and Kathy Michaelis.
This educational seminar will run from 8 until 9:15 am in the Pandora Building at the University of New Hampshire’s Manchester campus. It is free for Council members and $10 for non-members. Individuals can register at nhhtc.org.
“We are relieved that the ‘tech tax’ on services being provided in Massachusetts has been repealed. However, the second tax is more onerous as it could impact any New Hampshire tech-related business providing services across the border directly or virtually,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the Council.
According to an analysis prepared by Rath, Young and Pignatelli, the new income tax change, known as “market based sourcing,” will affect thousands of New Hampshire businesses providing services to Massachusetts customers. Potentially impacted businesses include financial services, accounting, architectural and law firms, software and technology firms, construction and engineering firms, and other consulting or service-based industries.
The income tax change takes effect Jan. 1. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue is drafting rules in the next few months regarding how the new law will be implemented and enforced.
Manufacturing Day is coming up on Friday and while it may not be a greeting card holiday, it is a celebration and observance of a sector that is vital to just about everything in our lives.
Take a moment and look at what’s within your arm’s reach. The computer on which you are reading this; computer accessories – a card reader, a keyboard; a telephone, landline and/or cell phone; a coffee cup; one of those little stress gizmos.
All these items, seen and unseen, were manufactured. The need for these components creates jobs. The payroll from these jobs supports other local businesses and the tax base helps to better our schools and communities.
So Manufacturing Day is a reason to celebrate. Here in New Hampshire, it will kick off Manufacturing Week beginning Monday and this will be an opportunity to showcase the industry.
Consider this: In 2012, about 66,000 people were employed in manufacturing, earning an average of $1,220 a week. Consider that average weekly wage for other workers was $938.
There is a great demand for workers, not only here in New Hampshire, but around the country. As part of Manufacturing Week, more than 60 manufacturers, community colleges and technical centers are making arrangements with local schools to welcome students and show them what 21st century manufacturing is like.
There are exciting opportunities right here in the Granite State and, especially if you are the parent of a high school student exploring what to do after graduation, we hope you will connect with one of these open houses.
Manufacturing Week culminates on Oct. 10 with the 11th annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit, taking place at the Radisson Hotel/Center of New Hampshire in Manchester.
The theme is Manufacturing Matters and workshops will cover value stream mapping and modeling; positioning for growth and an introduction of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium. Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative, will speak about manufacturing jobs returning to the US.
One of New Hampshire’s newest companies is not only one we helped to relocate here, but it’s one that’s on the forefront of technology and women’s health.
Gamma Medica is evolving technology to improve breast cancer detection and has opened a product design, engineering and manufacturing plant in southern New Hampshire, the latest business to locate in a region becoming known for its bio-medical industry.
Gamma Medica, Inc. develops, markets and services the LumaGEM® MBI system, a digital molecular breast imaging system enabling radiologists to detect early stage cancers that can be missed in women with mammographically dense breast tissue. It is leasing 8,000-square feet at 12 Manor Parkway and plans to hire about 30 people in the next year.
Jim Calandra, CEO Gamma Medical Salem, NH
Since then, technology has been developing high-quality, high-resolution systems to detect tumors at 5 millimeters. Through a non-invasive procedure, women whose mammograms are inconclusive can opt for MBI testing. It’s about one-third of the cost of an MRI, which is used for further analysis of dense breast tissue.
While mammography is an excellent tool in the detection of breast cancer, it does have limitations, said Dr. Robert C. Hannon of Salem Radiology.
“The development of molecular breast imaging, and its ability to identify even small early cancers, is a most welcome addition,” Hannon said. “Gamma Medica, through its Luma GEM MBI System, has refined the technique so it is simple, safe and accurate. This technology will be a significant asset to physicians, as they continue their efforts against this disease.”
Earlier this summer, Gamma Medica closed on a $16 million Series A financing round from healthcare investment firm, Psilos Group Managers. This funding enables Gamma Medica to expand commercialization of the LumaGEM MBI system, its companion product, the LumaGUIDE® MBI-guided biopsy module, and be used to finance additional post-market clinical studies.
Calandra said locating this company in Salem made sense and not just because of New Hampshire’s low tax structure.
“There is a strong medical device presence here and we are close to Boston, where there is a prevalence of medical device companies along Route 128 and around the Merrimack Valley,” he said, adding that being close to some of the finest hospitals in the country was also an important consideration in locating here.
Southern New Hampshire is developing a strong medical device cluster, said Michael Bergeron, business development manager for the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, who assisted Gamma Medica in its move to the state.
“The company was looking to locate in a place where there is access to talented employees, universities, and hospitals, as well as low operating costs,” Bergeron said. “New Hampshire has all of that.”
Gamma Medica will celebrate its grand opening on Oct. 11.
The next time you’re at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, check out a video there in the lobby, which represents a nice collaboration of organizations who are high on New Hampshire for all that it offers in terms of business, lifestyle and possibility.
It’s the first snapshot of the Granite State, a video landscape of our economy, tech sector, commitment to research and quality of life.
The tech council’s board of directors, understanding that the airport is a prime opportunity to grab the attention of visitors to the state, worked on the collaboration to make the video possible.
“We knew that a unique format like a video with key messaging about our state would catch people’s attention and demonstrate the value proposition the state offers to launch, relocate and grow a business,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the council. “The airport staff was extremely supportive of this effort to create a welcoming message to the millions of people that fly in and out on Manchester every year.”
“With our focus on recruiting new businesses to the state and ensuring that their workforce needs are met we are open to finding innovative ways to reach new audiences,” he said. “We consider ourselves champions of the economic opportunities within New Hampshire and this video is a creative way to highlight some of the state’s advantages.”
For its contribution to the video, Stay Work Play NH answers the question What makes New Hampshire a great place to live and work?
(The answer, of course, is our quality of life statistics — as one of the lowest poverty rates in the nation and number one rankings in child and family well-being and the most livable state.)