The Seacoast Aerospace Initiative launched Monday, with the ceremonial signing of a letter that clears for landing Canadian aerospace companies looking for opportunity to expand in one of New Hampshire’s fastest growing sectors.
The initiative came about in 2012, as Albany International and Safran were preparing for their co-location in Rochester, and the need to prepare for the growth of the industry.
The Seacoast Aerospace Initiative
For the past 18 months, a partnership that included officials from Dover, Portsmouth, Rochester and Somersworth, as well as the Pease International Tradeport, Great Bay Community College and the University of New Hampshire and we here at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, has been working to position this region as a hub for composites manufacturing.
Fast forward to this week and we celebrated a milestone: The signing of a letter – in French – inviting Quebec aerospace companies and suppliers not only to expand here, but to work with us in other areas, such as research and education.
“This collaboration has strengthened the Seacoast’s position as a leader in the aerospace and defense industry,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan. “This is win-win for everybody – the companies involved, the cities, the Seacoast, the state and for our people. It’s a good day for business in New Hampshire.”
Quebec is our closest neighbor to the north and we share more than an international border; we owe much to them for our history, culture and work ethic.
“Montreal is the national hub for aerospace,” said Thierry Weissenburger, senior trade commissioner of the Canadian Consulate in Boston. “This collaboration is happening as burgeoning trade is going on and I expect it grow massively.”
If you recall, our aerospace industry got a boost when the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium signed a MOU with Aero Montreal in December, paving the way for our aerospace companies to have preferred relationships with their counterparts in Quebec.
“This happened six months ago and already you are moving on with the next steps,” said Marianne Bonnard, with the Quebec delegation. “You are already moving on to the step and I think that says a lot about the determination of the region here and of our cooperation.”
With that came the ceremonial signing of the letter by our Commissioner Jeffrey Rose, of the Department of Resources and Economic Development; Mayors Karen Weston of Dover, Robert Lister of Portsmouth, T.J. Dean of Rochester, Dana Hilliard of Somersworth, and Arthur Nickless Jr., chairman of the Pease Development Authority.
“This regional hub is the centerpiece for our state’s economy, built around aerospace and defense,” Rose said. “We’re ready for take-off on the Seacoast.”
NH Division of Economic Development