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State Business Recruitment Team Up to the TASK

We are consistently touting the fact that our two person business recruitment team comprised of Michael Bergeron, State Business Development Manager and Cindy Harrington, State Business Recruiter, is the best in the country. With expertise, determination and perseverance, Mike and Cindy consistently develop new opportunities to help businesses expand and relocate to the Granite State.

A perfect example is the recent expansion of the Canadian firm TASK Micro-electronics Inc. to the Pease International Tradeport. Cindy worked tirelessly to ensure that this growing company could not only find “a” U.S. base of operations, but rather “the” perfect location for their company expansion.

Here’s the text of a recent Portsmouth Herald story by Michael McCord detailing TASK’s recent expansion:

TASK Comes to Pease for Defense Contracting Work

For TASK Micro-electronics Corp., setting down operations at Pease International Tradeport recently was a matter of the old read estate adage — location, location, location.

TASK is the American subsidiary of a 23-year-old Canadian contract manufacturing firm, TASK Micro-Electronics Inc., which serves the defense, medical and avionics industries.

task-usa1Dan Graveson, president of U.S. operations, said the company moved to 222 International Drive at Pease to take advantage of subcontracting opportunities with major defense contractors — a more difficult challenge for foreign companies due to International Trade and Arms Regulations.

“It’s a lot easier to get (subcontracting work) if you’re located in the United States,” said Graveson, a New Hampshire native who was TASK’s vice president of corporate development at the company’s Montreal headquarters. “We needed a presence in the United States.”

TASK is a private company with revenues in the $15 million to $20 million range and it makes customer-specified components for hearing aids, robotics, lasers and optics, sensors, cameras, diagnostic devices for medical and military industries. Graveson said TASK expects to begin contract manufacturing in the next few months and will concentrate on the defense industry — though it eventually could branch out into the medical devices field as well, given the concentration of defense and medical manufacturing companies in New England.

The firm already has 10 workers and is preparing for initial defense contracts by having 20 assemblers, technicians and engineers on standby ready to start. “You sometimes have to wait a while for a (defense-related) contract but when you get one, they want the product yesterday,” Graveson said.

TASK landed in Portsmouth after an extensive search to meet three main needs — be within a day’s drive of Montreal, be within an hour of Boston where defense and medical manufacturers are located, and have a low tax burden.

“We chose Portsmouth because of its amazing quality of life and the low cost of living we can offer our employees,” Graveson said. The N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development was instrumental, he said, in helping the company find a home.

“They (DRED) treated us as though we were bringing 5,000 jobs here,” he said. During one 3½-day exploration trip in late 2008, Graveson and a DRED official visited 14 cities and saw 35 buildings in southern New Hampshire.

“Financially, we could have made it work in Nashua or Salem, but it came down to locations in Dover or Portsmouth,” he said. “I love the ocean and, frankly, we believe this is a great location to attract talented workers.”

Because of a potential surge in defense subcontracting work, Graveson believes the American subsidiary can thrive and surpass its Canadian counterpart in revenue size and eventually grow to more than 100 employees.

The company currently has 11,000 square feet of space but can expand to 25,000 square feet if necessary for manufacturing operations. TASK specializes in miniaturization of almost anything electronics related and is known for its avionics and medical hearing aid manufacturing — and for making the smallest camera in the world, Graveson said.

“We take a customer’s design and can miniaturize it to help add to the technology they have,” he said. “For military contractors, it’s vital to meet SWAP (size, weight, and power) specifications to decrease the amount of power used in equipment used by soldiers on the battlefield. We don’t want them to have to choose between batteries and bullets.”

Welcome to TASK and great work Cindy!