John Murray, left, John Patten ~ Murdawg Custom and Everything Automotive
Several hundred people came out to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center here in Concord to recognize businesses from around the state that reach out with opportunity and encouragement to assist people with disabilities in finding a job.
“This event is a wonderful way to raise awareness with businesses about the importance of promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce,” says Jim Hinson, who is with New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation. “By sharing the successful experiences of New Hampshire employers, we hope more will follow.”
We heard a few of those stories this morning, of how employers large and small hired men and women for jobs in their organizations and finding them as enthusiastic, dependable and reliable as the rest of their workers.
John Murray of Murdawg Custom and Everything Automotive in Ossipee told a great story – of how he and his wife, Maggie, believe in giving back to their community and how, one day, he was introduced to John Patten by way of Northern Human Services.
Over the next few minutes, Murray explained how, having no positions available, he agreed to mentor Patten one evening a week. How mentoring turned in a full-time position, how Patten is more than just an employee.
“He’s a part of my family,” Murray said.
The 2012 Employment Leadership Award winners are:
- Murdawg Custom and Everything Automotive, Ossipee
Gov. Lynch received the first Individual Employment Leadership award, for his work in recognizing that those with disabilities can make a difference in the state’s economy and understanding the unique issues involved in hiring.
Hinson said employers’ fears about lost productivity, increased liability and the cost to accommodate disabled workers are misconceptions.
Ten employers this morning said their business is all the more for reaching out to this workforce, and that they, and their customers, would be less had they not.
Robert Mansperger and Zach Watson graduated from college and are at their new jobs at AspenTech in Nashua.
We’re back from an event this morning that’s exciting on all kinds of fronts – a new company opening in Nashua; a new company opening in Nashua with 75 jobs; a new company opening in Nashua with 75 jobs being filled by just-out-of-college graduates.
AspenTech, a software company that provides its product and services to the engineering, energy, chemical and construction industries, is now open at 100 Innovation Way, just off exit 1 of the Everett Turnpike – the city’s technology park.
It’s a fitting location for AspenTech’s newest facility, which is for research and development, and it is populated by young adults, who earned degrees in chemical engineering and computer science from places like the University of New Hampshire; Boston College; Boston University; Carnegie Mellon; Cornell; MIT; Tufts … the list includes several more respected colleges and universities.
The company’s corporate headquarters is located about 25 miles away, in Burlington, Mass., and decided to expand to New Hampshire, said CEO Mark Fusco, because “New Hampshire is a great place for a growing company to expand its footprint.”
Gov. John Lynch was on hand to welcome his friend, and his company, to New Hampshire. Their friendship goes back more than 25 years, to Harvard University, and has spanned years and pond hockey games.
“AspenTech is bringing good, high-paying jobs to our state, which is great news for the local and state economy,” Lynch said.
And more than that, a company that hires young people, like Robert Mansperger and Zach Watson, pictured above, is providing a fresh face and energy to Nashua– we definitely felt it on the tour of the facility today. (By the way, here’s the link for AspenTech’s career page … the company is not finished hiring).
As we’ve said here before, New Hampshire may not have a company that builds entire airplanes, but we do have companies that supply components used to construct them.
So it makes sense that there should be a Granite State presence at an aerospace trade show a short hop over the border — the international border.
And there was.
Five Granite State companies were part of theNew Hampshire delegation attending the Aero Montreal Global Supply Chain Summit this week, including Gov. John Lynch and Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald.
The group represented the largest contingent of any state and the only state to attend the summit from New England.
Aero Montreal is Quebec’s aerospace cluster, so it brings together the minds and associations of the sector. The summit brings together aerospace companies from around the world and the result is a whirlwind couple of days of seminars, networking and, most importantly, appointments with the decision makers at some of the biggest names in the air – Lockheed, Boeing, Bombardier.
“Sometimes it can take years to meet with the right people, but in this one trip, I’m meeting with people from Bombardier and Lockheed,” said Michael Barrett of Tech Resources in Milford, adding that meetings were arranged by Lynch and staff at the Division of Economic Development’s International Trade Resource Center. “We’re introducing a new product and looking at substantive growth.”
Jeff Stimson of Orion Wire in North Haverhill employs seven people at the company, which specializes in custom engineered wire and cable applications.
“We probably would not have been able to get our foot in the door and I don’t think we would ever meet the same level of people on our own,” Stimson said.
He, like the other Granite State companies represented, say the aim of attending the summit is to get more work and grow their businesses.
It’s the kind of domino effect that also includes hiring more workers.
The trade mission to the aerospace summit was underwritten by the State Trade and Export Promotion grant.
Earlier this week, we wrote about New Hampshire receiving nearly $300,000 in the second year of the STEP program, which is administered by the Small Business Administration.
Our International Trade Resource Center reached out to these companies to let them know about the summit. As the STEP program continues, there are a number of opportunities available for companies considering exporting their products, so if that’s you, reach out to the ITRC for more information.
Monday started off quite nicely, thank you, with the announcement that New Hampshire will receive nearly $300,000 for the second year of funding of the State Trade Export Promotion.
This money will be used just like the acronym says – to help small businesses here in the Granite State take a STEP toward exporting their products overseas.
The announcement, which included remarks from US Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Jeanne A. Hulit, the Small Business Administration’s Associate Administrator for Capital Access, was made at Axenics inNashua, a small manufacturer that makes specialized assemblies, clean piping products and gas systems. Right now, the company exports less than 10 percent of its annual sales, but it has worked with the International Trade Resource Center and made use of funding in the first year of the grant to investigate and increase its export potential.
“STEP is working for us,” said Haywood Schmidt, president of Axenics, who added that the 28-year-old company intends to grow over the next two years and create 35 new jobs.
Christopher Way, interim Director of the Division of Economic Development, said the STEP program, at the conclusion of its first year, “has provided a valuable infusion of assistance to small businesses and funding for state export programs.”
In the first year of the STEP program, 24 New Hampshirecompanies received assistance from the grant and in the second year, that will continue. Matching grants will be available to qualified businesses to offset the cost of export promotion, including tradeshow fees, translation of websites and developing marketing materials.
By stepping up to this mission, the participating companies will receive a wealth of information and make valuable connections that will, ultimately, open trade opportunities.
“Those of you familiar withNew Hampshire government know one thing – we don’t like to sit on the sidelines and our businesses have no interest in standing still while the global economy swirls around us,” Way said. “ This is why STEP is important.”
The value of the relationship between the Granite State and its neighbor to the north was discussed Monday at the New Hampshire-Canada Trade Council forum.
Depending on where you may be in New Hampshire, the Canadian border can be just a stone’s throw away in far northern New Hampshire or less than 200 miles if you are at the border of Massachusetts. That makes Canada our neighbor and, according to speakers today at the New Hampshire-Canada Trade Council forum, a valuable one.
The daylong conference brought together officials from both sides of the 58-mile border, who talked about everything from the longstanding friendship there is between the two countries, to opportunities for small and women-owned businesses; the importance of student exchange and development of alternative energy. Speakers included Gov. John Lynch, US Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Canada Consul General Patrick Binns.
How important is Canada? Nearly 40,000 jobs in the Granite State are dependent on trade with Canada. In 2011, New Hampshire sold $650 million worth of goods over the border. As of May, the total value of our exports was $288 million, making it our largest export market this year. The primary goods sent north include industrial machinery, wood and wood products, electrical machinery and medical-related instruments.
“We may have slowed down because of the turmoil of the economy in the past few years, but this is a good time for us to renew this relationship,” he said. “We need to understand what we both need. This won’t happen in just a few months, but it will take time.”
By the close of the 5-day event, orders were placed for 758 aircraft for a total of $72 billion, representing a 53 percent increase from the 2010 show. (The Paris Air Show is the sister event and is held in odd number years.)
NH aerospace companies can soar at Aero Montreal event next month.
The aerospace industry is hot.
Next month, there’s another opportunity for Granite State aerospace-related businesses and it’s closer to home – just north of the border, in Montreal.
Gov. John Lynch will lead the delegation of company representatives Sept. 26 to Sept. 28 to the Aero Montreal Global Supply Chain Summit. Funding from SBA’s State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant is available to underwrite the $500 cost for qualifying companies, which includes bus transportation to and from Concord to Montreal. The cost to companies that do not fall within the grant guidelines is $750.
Topics and seminars include development of the supply chain for both aerospace and defense and how companies can position themselves; growth management; plant access and transportation to aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and preferential access to supply chain/procurement representatives.
The deadline to register is this week. For more information, contact Tina Kasim here at the Office of International Commerce, at 271-8444, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And so it was this morning at the Merrimack Premium Outlets, with the ribbon cutting and opening of 80 outlet stores.
It was a very festive time and the early bird shoppers were enthusiastic in both their appointed rounds and in their praise for the project, which brings to New Hampshire some high end fashion not available anywhere else. While there were deals to be had for the big event, it was good to see people pulling out their wallets and feeling confident enough to make a few purchases, like the three women from Derry who found the bargains they were looking for early in their shopping excursion.
More than that, it was good to see hundreds of people on retail’s front lines. We saw college students, moms, grandparents and others eagerly waiting to greet the first customers and being at work. We eavesdropped on a pep talk over at the Nike store and then the employees, dressed in orange and black, walked around the shops, clapping. And laughing.
Congratulations to Merrimack for being the site of this new outlet center, which is projected to attract more than 5 million visitors per year and employ more than 1,000. It will be a place close to home to find a special dress (or shoes), to window shop, or just be three gals from Derry or any other town, getting together, laughing, talking and having fun.
If you think of it as dull, dusty, tedious and a dead-end, then it’s time to pay a visit to modern manufacturing.
In New Hampshire, it’s huge. It’s our top industry, bringing in four times the revenue that the number two industry, tourism, does. A full 95 percent of all exports are manufactured here and in the past eight years, those exports have risen three times faster than our overall economy.
Manufacturing provides jobs for over 67,000 people. They are good jobs that do great things. One company may not build the rocket that flies into space, but one company can make the vital components and make them better than anyone else on the planet.
This industry no longer takes place in your grandfather’s factory. Today’s plants are clean, modern
Manufacturing Matters in the Granite State
and high tech. Working in them requires some real skills – they are no longer places young people who don’t know what they want to do can go and pass a couple of years.
The challenge here in New Hampshire – and around the country – is letting high school students know of these opportunities right here at home – that they do not have to leave the state to find an exciting and challenging livelihood, that they can have rewarding careers in manufacturing where they live.
The day-long seminar will bring together teachers and manufacturers to discuss ways to make sure students with the capabilities and aptitude for this kind of career get on the right path, through training, education and encouragement.
It is going to be a very lively and educational day. Speakers include Gov. John Lynch, Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald and others from the field. The keynote speaker is Bill Symonds, director of Harvard University’s Pathways to Prosperity Project.
There will be much to talk about and we hope you will be a part of the discussion. Register here today.
Strategies for securing business financing, tips for how to do business with the state, a look at this year’s top policy issues from the state’s top legislators and more will be the focus of the Business and Industry Association’s 7th Annual Small Business Day at the State House event to be held Jan. 31 at the Holiday Inn, Concord from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.
The annual small business event, held in partnership with the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center (NH SBDC), New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, and local and regional chambers of commerce, is meant to engage small business owners and managers in public policy discussion and debate, as well as provide them with practical and relevant information to help manage and grow their business. Small Business Day is sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire, Bank of America and media sponsor New Hampshire Business Review.
Small Business Day at the State House will begin with a panel discussion with some of the state’s top elected leaders: Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen and House Minority Leader Terie Norelli (expected). The state leadership panel will focus specifically on top small business issues of 2012 and how state elected leaders will resolve them.
Two presentations will follow the legislative panel. First, New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon will explain the ins and outs of doing business with the state. Small business owners interested in supplying the state with everything it needs to function, from pencils and pens to computers and calculators, will learn how to engage in this process.
Next, New Hampshire Department of Employment Security Commissioner Tara Reardon will discuss the recently enacted NH Working programs and how they can help small businesses find the right job applicants. She will also provide an overview of the Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau (ELMI), the type of information available through ELMI and how small businesses might use it to their advantage.
Following a short break, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Chris Way will moderate a panel discussion called “Strategies for Financing Your Business.” Small business owners who feel like securing capital can sometimes be an uphill battle will hear from a panel of commercial lenders and representatives of alternative lending programs about financing options that may be open to them and help their business meet its growth objectives.
Gov. John Lynch has been invited to make closing remarks.
Participating chambers of commerce include the Exeter Area, Greater Peterborough, Hampton Area, Hanover Area, Lakes Region, Merrimack, Mount Washington Valley, Northern Gateway Regional, Plymouth Regional, Waterville Valley Region and Wolfeboro Area chambers of commerce.
The cost to attend Small Business Day at the State House is $15 per person and includes continental breakfast. To register, visit nhbia.org, Events or call 603-224-5388 x116.
As Karen Brown of CBS News notes, “New Hampshire has seen first in the nation pay off. The state’s unemployment rate is a low 5.2 percent, exports are at an all-time high, and the state is seeing a more modern manufacturing sector continue to grow — all factors that will be highlighted,” Brown said, “as the nation turns its attention to the first primary.”
The piece that ran on CBS’ Early Show today featured interviews with Governor Lynch and DED Interim Director Chris Way, both talking about the advantages to businesses setting up shop in New Hampshire. The piece also featured Bill Skelley, president and founder of Skelley Medical, who moved his business from Massachusetts to New Hampshire after a chance meeting with Governor Lynch started the ball rolling.