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Archive for March, 2014

Safran/Albany Celebrate New-to-the-World Technology at Inaugural Event

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Dignitaries from New Hampshire and France took part in this morning’s ribbon cutting at Safran’s new manufacturing plant in Rochester.

This afternoon’s ribbon cutting in Rochester was so much more than the opening of a new manufacturing plant, where Safran and Albany International Corp. have co-located to produce composite parts for the US and French governments.

“This is a significant milestone, not only for our two companies, but for our customers and partners in the aerospace industry and for the city of Rochester and the state of New Hampshire,” said Joseph Morone, president and CEO of Albany International. “We are opening an identical sister plant in Commercy, France and this is a first of its kind in the aerospace industry. The manufacturing technology and the product being produced with that technology are new to the world …”

New to the world … right here in New Hampshire.

“What a great day for Rochester and New Hampshire,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan. “This is a shining example of the kind of innovative business that has New Hampshire as well-positioned as any state to lead the country in economic growth.”

Rochester Mayor TJ Jean called the grand opening of the plant a celebration “of the power of partnerships,” between the two companies, between the local, state and federal officials who made sure the resources would be available, and “the community college system, which will help train our workforce.”

As manufacturing ramps up in this new plant, hundreds of more jobs will be added to 130 already in place. They will work to produce 3D woven composite parts using RTM technology for aircraft engines parts.”Our presence in Rochester reflects our commitment to this state and the US,” said Jean-Paul Herteman, chairman and CEO of Safran. “Our aim is to continue to expand our position and to contribute to the development of the aerospace and security markets as an American company, to ensure optimum service for our civil and military customers here.”

More than an opening of a new manufacturing plant, today’s event clears New Hampshire’s aerospace and defense industries for take-off.

“This is new-to-the-world high impact technology,” Morone said.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development

Gov. Hassan Leading Trade Mission to Turkey in June

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Continuing her efforts to boost New Hampshire’s economy through the promotion of international trade, Governor Maggie Hassan will lead a delegation of New Hampshire businesses on a June trade mission to Turkey, where members will explore the increasing potential of a growing international market.

“To keep New Hampshire’s economy growing and creating jobs, we are focused on helping our businesses enter new markets and making the Granite State a leader in selling our goods and services around the world,” Gov. Hassan said. “This trade mission will build on the progress that helped make New Hampshire the fastest-growing state for exports in 2013 by helping our businesses find new opportunities in Turkey’s growing market.”

In 2013, Granite State companies and manufacturers exported more than $79 million in goods and services to Turkey. At the crossroads of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Turkey is a regional commercial hub attracting the attention of American companies. The Department of Resources and Economic Development selected it as the trade mission destination after consultation with New Hampshire businesses.

“Turkey is New Hampshire’s 12th largest trading partner and there are increasing opportunities for our businesses, especially in areas such as aerospace and defense, health and medical technologies, education and construction machinery,” said Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development.

Rokon International Inc., a leading manufacturer of all-wheel drive motorcycles whose products are used by military personnel, missionaries, farmers and hunters around the world, is one of five companies that have already signed up for the trade mission.

“At Rokon, we are always looking to find new markets abroad and joining the State of New Hampshire on this mission to Turkey is a great opportunity to increase exports and grow our business,” said Tom Blais, owner and CEO of Rokon.

The bipartisan budget Hassan signed last year increased international trade assistance and restored funding for trade missions to help businesses market and sell their products around the globe. Through November, business exports rose 22 percent in 2013, making New Hampshire the fastest-growing state in the nation for exports.

Organized in partnership with the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON) and the Turkish Cultural Center in Manchester, the trade mission will take place June 20-27.  TUSKON includes seven regional federations and more than 200 business associations, representing more than 140,000 firms in the Turkic region, which includes neighboring countries such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The organization will connect the trade mission’s participants with decision makers in business, government and higher education.

Companies interested in joining the trade mission are invited to attend an informational meeting at the Turkish Cultural Center, 540 Chestnut St., Manchester. The meeting will be held on April 2 at 8:30 a.m. and will feature Dr. Hakan Tasci of US-TUSKON and economist Mehmet Ozbes as speakers.

The cost for participation in the trade mission is $2,500, a reduced rate that is underwritten by TUSKON to promote the development and growth of the New Hampshire-Turkey partnership. The deadline for applications is April 25 and space is limited.

For more information, visit www.exportnh.org or call Tina Kasim, program manager for the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center at 271-8444.


Boot Camp-style Training Gets Advanced Manufacturing in Shape for the Future

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Great Bay Community College’s CNC training program is collaboration with SIG Sauer and our friends at AMPed NH explain its great value to students and employers. Ed.

 Innovative boot-camp-style training programs offered by New Hampshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships in Education are benefiting not only scores of community college students, but also employers statewide.

Programs like Great Bay Community College’s CNC Production boot camp can save precision manufacturers money and time.

Programs like Great Bay Community College’s CNC Production boot camp can save precision manufacturers money and time.

Programs like Great Bay Community College’s CNC Production boot camp can save precision manufacturers money and time by teaching the exact hard and soft skills they require, using the same equipment they use. Learning takes place away from production floors, allowing staff to focus on meeting product deadlines and exceeding standards. At the same time, boot camps can turn over new qualified candidates in a matter of weeks, building a healthy pipeline of qualified career prospects.

Offered in an accelerated eight-week format, the CNC Production boot camp is instructed by field experts and offered on-site at AMPed NH industry partner SIG Sauer’s state-of-the-art firearms manufacturing facility on Pease International Tradeport.

Collaboration starts at the very beginning. Community colleges work in concert with industry partners to develop and deliver specifically targeted training programs such as the CNC (computer numerically controlled) boot camp, which readies students for high-demand, well-paying CNC machining careers.

But job seekers aren’t the only ones clambering to sign up. Current SIG Sauer employees, with support from their company, are also receiving training in preparation for advancement.

Freedom Chandavong, 23, of Newmarket, a two-year employee at SIG, started in packaging and shipping and is already advancing within the company. He’s in the boot camp to prepare for a career in composite component production. SIG Sauer supports his ambitions by providing tuition reimbursement and time to train.

Just two days into boot camp, Chandavong said, the depth of topics covered was impressive.

“We were already getting into hands-on simulation training,” Chandavong said. Simulators allow students to identify and correct design and production problems in a safe, supportive learning environment before moving on to actual production equipment.

“In today’s precision manufacturing, ‘good enough’ doesn’t count,” said Chandavong, and boot camp has bolstered his confidence and determination. “SIG has made a commitment to me, and I’m going to return that commitment. I’m not going to fail them. For me, this is not a job; this is a career – and with the composites industry growing, there’s a future here.”

The commitment is not unusual, as exhibited by the students who routinely hang back in the lab, celebrating new breakthroughs even as break times begin.

“The application process does a good job to identify those with passion,” said boot camp program developer Sean Hoeing.


Innovative boot-camp-style training programs benefit students and employers.

The thought was echoed by instructor Jeff Bean, an inventor and engineer whose own products are sold nationally and used in the teaching lab.

“It’s impressive,” Bean said. “They come in at different levels. They tend to be hands-on learners, and that’s what we want. That, combined with patience and attention to detail.

“We get to see them at the beginning of their training and then as they progress,” Bean said. “There are so many career paths they can choose.”

Indeed, the boot camp model has been a successful workforce solution for AMPed NH industry partners all over the state, who in years past have reported concerns that the pool of these high-tech employees was drying up.

Many students from AMPed NH’s myriad industry-approved advanced manufacturing certificate and degree programs, have already been hired by partners like SIG Sauer, who view the programs as reliable recruiting grounds for their growing operations.

The boot camp’s location itself speaks to that growth, as well as the demand for a more robust STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce; SIG Sauer expanded to the site after outgrowing operations in Exeter. In addition to its Exeter and Pease sites, the company operates a training center in Epping and is opening another facility in Dover, as well as sites outside America. Combined, dozens of new hires are anticipated in the coming months locally.

Computer-numerical controlled machines are widely used where very precise manufacturing is required. Unlike manually operated equipment of the past, CNC machines shape components automatically by reading computer design code. They are faster and more versatile than ever before.

Under AMPed NH, funded by a $20 million federal TAACCCT grant from DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, NH’s seven community colleges offer dozens of programs in disciplines including robotics & automation; electronics and electromechanics; advanced machine tool, composites and welding technologies; and engineering & programming.

To learn about upcoming CNC Production boot camps, contact Sean Hoeing at shoeing@ccsnh.edu. To learn about all advanced manufacturing programs offered by AMPed NH, visit www.ampednh.com.

Desiree Crossley

Marketing Coordinator

Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships in Education

Community College System of NH

Laconia Manufacturer Putting the Bite Back on Your Snowmobile

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

It’s the bane of the serious snowmobiler: The dull edge of a carbide runner.

A Laconia manufacturer came up with a solution to the seasonal problem and in the year since the Biteharder carbide sharpening tool went on the market, Glenn Welch of Welch Manufacturing says business has grown exponentially.

Why? His product is, pardon the pun, cutting edge and his business plan included establishing a Canadian market.

We helped with that.

Check out the video for the rest of this great story.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development