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Posts Tagged ‘NH Department of Transportation’

Five Questions with Bill Boynton, New Hampshire Department of Transportation

Friday, March 6th, 2015

New Hampshire’s location at the crossroads of New England makes it the perfect spot for manufacturing and distribution businesses seeking to ship products to the Northeast, Canada and beyond. A thriving manufacturing sector and a skilled workforce demand a solid transportation infrastructure to help drive the economic engine of the Granite State.

To learn more about how the government’s work on transportation issues affects the world of work for New Hampshire businesses and professionals, we talked to Bill Boynton, public information officer for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Unlike the Division of Economic Development, it’s not in the DOT’s mandate to help recruit new businesses to the state; that said, some of the goals of both agencies have a significant overlap.

Bill Boynton NH DOT

Bill Boynton

What’s one project either recently completed, or in progress right now, that you think will have a significant positive impact on the business community in New Hampshire?

That’s easy – the ongoing Interstate 93 project between Salem and Manchester. The $800 million project to rebuild and widen the 20-mile corridor was designated by the Legislature as New Hampshire’s most important transportation project. Former Commissioner Chris Clement called I-93 “the road paved with gold” in reference to its economic importance to the state. I-93 runs through the center of New Hampshire, from the Merrimack Valley through the Lakes and White Mountains Regions. It’s critical to the economic vitality of the state, the region and local communities.

What role does the DOT play in helping keep talented workers from exploring jobs outside of the state?

New Hampshire is a very desirable place to live, work, play and enjoy. The mission of the NHDOT: “Transportation excellence enhancing the quality of life in New Hampshire.” By working every day to provide that transportation excellence and to support the state’s economic growth and vitality, the NHDOT helps make it easier for talented workers to decide to call New Hampshire home.

What would you say to a business looking to expand to New Hampshire, if that business had questions about the state’s ability to support its shipping and logistics needs?

New Hampshire’s highway and bridge system (4,600 miles) continues to rank high in quality, enhanced by major corridors that include interstate highways (i.e. I-93, I-293, I-95, I-89) and 90 miles of turnpikes (i.e. Everett, Spaulding and Blue Star). We have 25 public use airports, including Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, which is a major hub for freight shipments. Rail in New Hampshire transports about 7 percent of all freight tonnage. The ports of Portsmouth and Newington loaded or discharged 3.1 million tons of cargo in 2011, valued at $1.7 billion.

What are the DOT’s priorities in terms of public transportation for New Hampshire’s workforce?

Our priorities are to maintain New Hampshire’s existing system of local public transit, intercity bus service and state-contracted commuter and express bus service, to study what that system should look like in the future, and to provide information and support to our policymakers on additional modes of transportation for New Hampshire’s workforce going forward.

How do you see the Department of Transportation’s role in fostering a favorable business climate?

Former NHDOT Commissioner Carol Murray once said, “Transportation is the game board upon which all others play.” Whether it’s keeping the roads plowed during winter snow events, continuous capital improvements to improve mobility, or the increased emphasis on maintenance and preservation, providing a safe and reliable transportation system for the movement of people, goods, and services is fundamental to what the NHDOT does, and what the traveling public expects and deserves in the Granite State.


Ask CJ: What Opportunities are Available to Women-Owned Businesses?

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Q: I may soon be buying my father’s business and wanted to know what opportunities are available to women-owned businesses?

A. This is a great question as I have heard from a number of people who want to know how they can take advantage of any opportunities for women-owned businesses.

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis

Like most circulated information, some of it has been over-hyped or incorrect. That being said, there are potential opportunities for businesses that are at least 51 percent women-owned. To be eligible for certification at either the state or federal level, the female owner must manage the day-to-day operations of the business, work full-time in the business and meet other criteria to show she is not the head of the company in name only. Getting your business certified takes some time and effort, but it may help you land new contracts and clients.

The state of New Hampshire does not have a certification specifically for “women-owned” enterprises. What the state does offer is a certification for the “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.” This certification covers women and minority-owned businesses who must also meet certain financial criteria. The certification is intended to level the playing field for minority and women-owned enterprises. You can find the application at the Department of Transportation’s Web site, www.nh.gov/dot/org/administration/ofc/dbe.htm. Any DOT contract with federal funding, in whole or part, through a public agency or corporation must utilize DBEs. That is where certification on the state level may work to your benefit. It is also attractive to corporations looking to meet their diversity goals. Other benefits to certifying with the state include: Listing on the NHDOT directory, receive bidding information for upcoming state and municipal projects and a value added service to your clients.

As far as federal certification opportunities, you may have seen some recent publicity about the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program that became effective Feb. 4. The program identified 83 industries that will allow contract preferences for women-owned or economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses. The set-asides are up to $5 million for manufacturing and $3 million for all other contracts. If you visit the SBA Web site, www.sba.gov, you will find most of these businesses are those that have historically been male-dominated. A person interested in getting certified can do it themselves at the moment and soon through a third party.

Any business in New Hampshire, male or female-owned, that is interested in soliciting government contracts can seek the assistance of the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program, which is a part of the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development. The PTAP group offers free assistance to New Hampshire companies looking to sell goods and services to federal, state, local government agencies, and school districts. It offers training, counseling and other information that helps companies navigate the contracting process. Information can be found at www.nheconomy.com/sell-to-the-government.

One last thing I want to point out is that when it comes to securing new business, whether it is government or private, the business basics still apply. You can have all the certifications in the world, but you still need to provide a quality product or service that is competitively priced if you want to grow your business. Relationships matter in both the public and private sector. Once you obtain your certifications you will still need to market your business, develop good relationships and provide excellent customer service. It never goes out of style.

Christine J. Davis works for the N.H. Division of Economic Development as a resource specialist serving businesses in Rockingham and Strafford counties. Her role is to provide the support needed for businesses so that they may remain viable and growing entities in the community.