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Posts Tagged ‘Carmen Lorentz’

5 Questions with Carmen Lorentz, NH Division of Economic Development

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Happy New Year! No, you didn’t miss the ball drop in Times Square – the new fiscal year just started for the state of New Hampshire, so for this edition of 5 Questions, we interviewed Carmen Lorentz, director of the Division of Economic Development.

For those of you who don’t know her, Lorentz has been the division’s director since January 2014. Prior to her appointment, she served as director of the Belknap Economic Development Council and previously analyzed state economic development policies at New York’s Public Management Institute.

Carmen Lorentz

Carmen Lorentz ~ Division of Economic Development

1. What are your priorities for the coming year?

We are working to provide new services to our local partners. One new tool we have is called EMSI (Economic Modeling Specialists, Intl), which we can use to help communities and organizations with grant writing, strategic planning and economic impact analysis of projects. For example, right now we are working on an economic impact study with the Concord Lake Sunapee Rail Trail group to show how much new visitor spending and jobs could be generated along the trail if it is built. We also support the New Hampshire High Tech Council by providing it with quarterly data on changes in employment and occupations in all of New Hampshire’s high-tech sectors. There is no fee for this service.

Another tool we hope to unveil in January is a site selection website. It will enable companies looking for a new location for their business to easily identify buildings or sites that meet their needs and to analyze demographic, workforce and industry data in a customized geography around the sites they are interested in – all on their smart phone or tablet. This kind of tool has quickly become the industry standard in economic development. It will expand our marketing reach for out-of-state business attraction and will help local economic development organizations market communities and properties.

2. What are some of the best-kept secrets of the division?

People are often surprised to learn that our work supported the creation and retention of 8,260 jobs in New Hampshire last year. That is based primarily on three things: the 17 companies and 1,200 new jobs that our recruitment team helped bring to the state; the $650 million in federal contracts that 115 of our government contracting team’s clients obtained, and the $4.5 million in global sales that our international commerce team helped 13 companies land. The state invested $2.1 million in us last year, so that’s about $260 per job. Not a bad return on investment if you ask me.

3. Many out-of-state businesses are considering a move or expansion to New Hampshire. What are the most compelling reasons, in your eyes, for choosing the Granite State over the competition?

Many companies that choose New Hampshire are drawn here because we offer a low tax environment and an exceptional quality of life – low crime, low poverty, low unemployment and highly educated and healthy people. When companies work with us here at the division, they also see how easy it is to get things done in our small and very connected state. Since time is money, that can make a big difference and we get a lot of positive feedback on how responsive and business-friendly our state is compared to other places.

4. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing New Hampshire businesses today and how is the division working to help businesses overcome these challenges?

Workforce. That is the number 1 thing we hear about from the companies with which we work. Many companies could grow faster if they could find people with the right skills. A generation ago, New Hampshire’s economic growth was bolstered by the fact that we attracted a lot of new, very highly educated people to our state. In-migration has slowed considerably, so if we are going to grow our economy, we have to do a better job of making sure that New Hampshire residents understand where the opportunities are and have clear and affordable pathways to good careers.

Here at the division, we are developing a more systematic approach to create partnerships that respond to workforce needs. We had a recent success where Cindy Harrington, one of our business development managers, was working with GE Aviation on it expansion in Hooksett. Officials there expressed a need for people with skills in tube fabrication and formation. Cindy brainstormed with others on our team and identified companies around the state with similar training needs, including Scotia Technology, Titeflex Aerospace, Axenics and ContiTech Thermopol. She convened those companies with the Community College System of New Hampshire and together they created a 10-week certificate program in tube fabrication and formation, which will be offered by Manchester Community College starting this fall. This program will enable people who are not from a manufacturing background to acquire the skills needed for potential employment opportunities at these five companies and others.

We are also working to create a framework based on this example for our staff and partners to use in responding to a company that expresses a need for workers with specialized skills, so that we can ensure the right resources are brought to the table to address the need.

5. The What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? video contest was very successful! Any plans to do it again?

Yes! We will launch the 2016 contest in September. Any middle school teachers who are interested should contact Lorna Colquhoun at lorna.colquhoun@dred.nh.gov or 271-2341 to get on the distribution list for the contest materials. You can see the videos from the 2015 contest on our YouTube channel.

What’s New in New Hampshire Tourism?

Monday, April 27th, 2015

The ice went out of Lake Winnipesaukee a couple of days ago, temperatures continue to warm up and it’s a good time to catch up on what’s happening with our friends down the hall at the Division of Travel and Tourism Development, the folks who bring you VisitNH.gov.

DTTD Director Vicki Cimino, right, sat down with Carmen Lorentz, director of the Division of Economic Development, on this month’s edition of New Hampshire Business Matters, which can be heard at 3 pm on the third Wednesday of every month at FM 107.7 WTPL.

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development


Great Day in the Morning! Congrats to Our 40 Under 40 Class Members

Monday, January 27th, 2014

We like our morning coffee with a side of newsprint and we especially liked it this morning because of the announcement of this year’s 40 Under 40 class in the New Hampshire Union Leader.

nhEconomy.com is well-represented this year

nhEconomy.com is well-represented this year

Two members work right here in the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and we are very proud of them and their accomplishments and we hope you are, too.

Chris Wellington is one of our business resource specialists and on most days, you can find him out in western New Hampshire, assisting businesses and manufacturers, whether through a visit to understand what they do or providing expertise and resources to help them grow and thrive in the Granite State. Chris is very passionate about his home state, especially about the opportunities in advanced manufacturing and for his peers to realize that it is possible to find and follow their dreams right here, right now.

Carmen Lorentz is already having a great day today, as she begins her brand new job as director of the Division of Economic Development. She, too, is New Hampshire born and bred and comes to us from the Belknap County Economic Development Council.

So today is a good day all the way around as we offer our heartiest congratulations to our team members.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

Division of Economic Development

New Director Carmen Lorentz Sworn-in as Chief of Economic Development

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Carmen Lorentz sworn in as director of the Division of Economic Development

The Division of Economic Development gets down to business Monday morning with a new director at the helm, following the swearing-in of Carmen Lorentz on Thursday afternoon. Her husband, Jonathan, and son, Julius, stood by her and, in fact, 5-year-old Julius also raised his hand to take the oath.

Lorentz, who grew up in the Lakes Region, most recently the executive director of the Belknap Economic Development Council, brings her experience to the state level, overseeing a staff of 20 that works with thousands of businesses each year in the areas of business retention, recruitment, international trade, government procurement and broadband development.

Nominated by Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Jeffrey Rose, Lorentz was unanimously confirmed earlier this month by the Governor and Executive Council.

“I’m excited to join the outstanding team at the Division,” she said, “and I look forward to working with everyone to address the needs of New Hampshire’s business community.”

These are exciting times for New Hampshire, especially as we learn this morning that Politico Magazine ranks us as the strongest state in the Union. There are great opportunities for our businesses, companies and manufacturers to thrive and prosper in 2014.

So we are excited, too, Carmen, and we’ll see you Monday.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

Division of Economic Development