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Archive for August, 2009

Hopes, Dreams and New Hampshire Spirit

Friday, August 28th, 2009

They arrived at 6 a.m. full of positive energy, good humor and the hope that today might be the day.  They arrived in business suits, jeans, dresses and shorts. They arrived knowing that there were over 1,000 available jobs and 150 companies looking for skilled workers.

wmur-job-fair-ii-015Over 5,000 job seekers made their way to the WMUR Project Economy Job Fair & Career Expo sponsored by the State of New Hampshire, WMUR and New Hampshire Motor Speedway at the track yesterday. Several of the faces at the Job Fair seemed familiar – there was a bit of overlap from the First Project Economy Job Fair earlier in the year at Southern New Hampshire University. That event was notable for having to be closed down hours early when approximately 10,000 job seekers clogged streets and brought traffic to a standstill. It was also notable for employing over 500 citizens with many more hirings going unrecorded.

There were no such logistical issues yesterday at a venue that seats over 120,000 race fans at NASCAR events. Traffic moved briskly both on the road and in the four garages used to house displays from employers offering jobs ranging from IT technician to retail manager.

wmur-job-fair-ii-009Not only were job seekers able to speak with employers and distribute resumes, they were also able to learn resume writing and other employability skills at workshops that were jam packed throughout the day. Shortly after 10 a.m. when Miss New Hampshire Lindsey Graham stirred the crowd with the National Anthem, the word went out quickly that if you wanted to sign up for a workshop, you needed to be fleet of foot.

The New Hampshire spirit of volunteerism and neighbors helping neighbors was perhaps the most heartening  aspect of the day. In addition to the State team that joined with WMUR and New Hampshire Motor Speedway, there was a group of volunteers that gave their time, energy and passion to ensure that job seekers had a positive experience. There were the National Guard volunteers who whooped and hollered every time that the trams delivering the job seekers from the parking lot to the venue rode by, keeping spirits high and creating smiles. There was the team of workers young and old who arrived the day before the fair to set up tables and spread linens. There were also the event guardian angels who dealt with language barriers, crossed signals and endless questions, all with a genuine desire to just be part of a solution.

The Job Fair was not a place for singlemindedness. During the course of the day, I was a parking lot attendant, media representative, set-up crew member, tram assistant and official greeter for the Governor and Miss New Hampshire. I wasn’t the only one….not by a long stretch. Every member of the 90 person volunteer army was required to take on a number of different roles – when you’re trying to get folks employed, no job is too small or insignificant.

For me to thank everyone who played a part in the success of the event would be nearly impossible. What I will say is that anyone who played any part in taking care of their neighbors, friends, brothers, sisters at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on August 27th 2009 gave a part of their spirit and their soul to ensure that others would have a chance to put food on the table, provide for their children and contribute to our state’s economy and well-being. They deserve your thanks and your respect.

In closing, I happened to sit on a curb with an older woman midway through the day. She had just gotten laid off from her job on Monday and was hoping to get re-employed quickly. She was understandably down about her situation, but hopeful that one of the resumes that she dropped off would catch an employer’s eye and lead to a new opportunity.  I pray that she and all of the other hopeful faces I saw yesterday will receive the calls that they’ve been waiting for and can celebrate again…..but until then, please know that we all owe it to each other to look out for our neighbors and to lend a helping hand. After all, isn’t that what the New Hampshire spirit is all about?

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Get Big & Rich With Us This Sunday!

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Here at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, we’re very proud of the relationships that we’ve forged with our private sector partners. You’re about to hear about a partnership which will allow you to join us this Sunday as we get “Big & Rich in the Granite State!”

By now, many of you have heard about the “Get Big & Rich in the Granite State” promotion that we’re holding in coordination with the Big & Rich concert this Sunday, August 30th at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford. And if you haven’t…..well, here’s the refresher course.

big-and-richA little over a month ago, over 900 Massachusetts business owners  received an individualized invitation to take part in the “Get Big and Rich in New Hampshire” promotion which will see one lucky winner receive a limousine ride from their home to the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire where they will receive VIP passes to see Grammy Award nominees Big & Rich (“Save a Horse,” “8th of November,” “Coming to Your City,” “Lost in This Moment” and “Wild West Show”), backstage passes and access to a pre-concert reception at Meadowbrook’s Center Stage Buffet with New Hampshire Division of Economic Development business recruiters. A number of other winners have been given tickets to the show and access to the reception.

Now, thanks to the generosity of our friends at Meadowbrook and our event co-sponsor Public Service of New Hampshire, friends of the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development (pssssstt….that’s all of you guys) will be able to take advantage of a special offer – $20 reserved seats (with no additional fees!) and $10 lawn seats (with no additional fees!) simply by visiting the following Web page: http://www.speedytix.com/sT/files/nl/bigrichdiscount.html.

This is a great chance for you to meet our team, enjoy a tremendous concert and show some hospitality to our guests from Massachusetts. See you Sunday!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Safety, Security, Aerospace & Defense Initiative Launched

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

In an effort to target some of the fastest growing worldwide industry sectors, the NH International Trade Resource Center is launching a “Safety & Security and Aerospace & Defense” global export marketing initiative at its new Concord facility (172 Pembroke Road) on Thursday, September 3rd from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

aerospacewrklc2These identified industry sectors are growing exponentially despite the global economic downturn and top markets include India, Japan, Canada, the UK, Germany, UAE, China, France and Brazil. The U.S. is the preeminent supplier of technologically advanced aerospace, defense, safety and security products to the world.


At this session, participants will learn how to penetrate the markets looking to procure these high tech products and services. In order to help local companies to enhance their global presence, the NH International Trade Resource Center has developed a global marketing consortium that will identify key marketing avenues and discuss how New Hampshire firms can address those needs.


Guest speakers will include Don Bliss, Director of the National Infrastructure Institute’s Center for Infrastructure Expertise, Dawn Wivell, Director of the NH International Trade Resource Center, Karen Wyman, NH International Trade Resource Center International Trade Officer, Gerald Gulley, Senior Vice President, Erudite, Inc. and Justin Oslowski, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce.


The cost of the program is $40 per person. To register, please contact Katy Reno at (603) 271-8444 or katy.reno@dred.state.nh.us. 


Administered by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Office of International Commerce, the ITRC plans, develops and administers programs for international trade promotion and foreign market development.  For more information about the ITRC, call (603) 271-8444, or visit their website at www.exportnh.org.


– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Commissioner Bald to be Featured at Networking Event

Monday, August 24th, 2009

“… Networking is crucial to every aspect of entrepreneurship. We know that the most successful entrepreneurs have frequent, extensive contacts with people in the various fields and industries that could conceivably relate to their work. These contacts help them to think entrepreneurially. They provide insights that can help them spot, and act upon, unclaimed opportunities. And of course the contacts are useful in recruiting talent, investors, partners, advisors, and customers for the venture.” – The Kauffman Laboratory for Enterprise Creation

Want to meet some new and interesting people who share your passion for business creation? Interested in listening to a guest speaker who is entrusted with guiding the operations of four distinct divisions of state government?

old-man-legacy-fund-005The Hannah Grimes Marketplace will feature NH Department of Resources & Economic Development Commisssioner George Bald at its CONNECT Annual Entrepreneur Event to take place on Tuesday, October 27th from 4:15-7:30 p.m. at Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, NH.  The 2009 Hannah Grimes Entrepreneur of the Year Award will also be announced at the event. 

The early bird registration cost is $25 (until 10/1/09) – interested parties can register online at http://www.hannahgrimes.com/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=227.

The Hannah Grimes Center mission – to help communities and entrepreneurs innovate, connect, and thrive – is rooted in the vision that the success of either is inextricably linked to the success of both. We believe that a local economy cannot thrive without a vibrant community – and, in turn, a community cannot be vibrant without a thriving local economy.

Safety Makes Good Business Sense

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Can you put a pricetag on healthy employees? Each year workplace accidents cost U.S. companies billions of dollars in worker’s compensation claims, lost productivity and overtime costs.

Thankfully, there are organizations that are dedicated to helping companies avoid workplace injuries and create a healthy atmosphere for their employees. One such group is the NH OSHA Consultation Program which will be hosting a free breakfast seminar on Tuesday, September 29th from 8-11:30 a.m. at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord.

nhdes_logoKeynote speaker Dr. Jose Montero, the NH Director of Public Health, will be speaking about “Pandemic Flu, Seasonal Flu & Infection Control in the Workplace.” Workshop sessions will include “How Safety Pays in the Construction Industry,” (Rich Lambert, Executive Vice President, Pro Con Incorporated), “The Culture of Safety in a Small Community Hospital,” (Harry Dorman, CEO, Alice Peck Day Hospital, Lebanon, NH) and “The Biggest Loser – How to Get Employees to Lose Weight and Gain Health” (Mark Compos, Materials Manager, Northern Elastomeric, Inc., Brentwood, NH).

osha1Again, the seminar is free and is limited to the first 100 registrants. To sign up, RSVP by 9/18/09 to Teresa Ferrara at teresa.ferrara@des.nh.gov or 271-4676.  To view the conference flyer, visit http://www.nheconomy.com/breakfast-seminar.aspx.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

New Hampshire’s In the Money….Magazine That Is

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Money Magazine has come out with its list of “Best Places to Live” and New Hampshire is well represented with four cities and towns in the top 100.

cnnmoney_logo2_0Here’s a snippet of the narrative the magazine put together on each of the New Hampshire cities and towns listed:

Merrimack (#43) – “Not only is Merrimack close to the state’s largest cities, Manchester and Nashua, but it’s only an hour away from the ocean and the White Mountains.

The town attracts people for its shopping along Route 3 and recreation on conservation land along a lake.

Hanover (#50) –  Best known as the home of Dartmouth College, Hanover is two hours from the nearest big city. But there’s plenty to keep residents employed and entertained right here. Nearby engineering and tech firms, plus health-care employers and the college, have kept the jobless rate low.

There are plenty of cultural opportunities in town as well, including Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts.

Hooksett (#66)It’s a tradition for presidential candidates to visit Robie’s during the New Hampshire primaries. The rustic country store in Hookset is emblematic of the town, which retains a rural character.

Fields and farms are gone, but the Merrimack River is popular for rowing and fishing.

Concord (#95) -Visitors to Concord may appreciate its array of historical landmarks and the domed New Hampshire State House. But the favorite establishment among locals is an Austrian bakery, Bread and Chocolate, that’s been around for generations.

While many families are well-established, residents say that the town is friendly to new residents. Homes range from large rural properties to smaller ones with median prices under $200,000.

Congrats to all of our friends in Merrimack, Hanover, Hooksett and Concord!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

New Hampshire’s “Hip” Factor Growing

Friday, August 21st, 2009

On a related yet unrelated note from my last post, the newest edition of The Hippo also featured an interview with Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill who was extremely gracious when asked about the Granite State.

Hill, who will join his bandmates in a concert to be held this Sunday evening, August 23rd at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, said of the tour’s 2009 final destination in the Lakes Region, “Beautiful part of the country, New Hampshire. It’s our first time playing in Gilford. We’re looking forward to somewhere with a bit of scenery.”

JUDAS PRIESTOn the heels of our sister Division of Travel & Tourism Development’s recent “I Love It Here!” promotion which featured celebrities (author Jodi Piccoult and “Dancing With the Stars” host Tom Bergeron among many others) holding signs demonstrating the love of our state, this recent plug for New Hampshire just adds credence to what Granite Staters have known all along – that New Hampshire is a great place to live, complete with cultural amenities, excitement and scenic natural beauty.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

A Great Day to Dream

Friday, August 21st, 2009

“Trust the still, small voice that says, ‘this might work and I’ll try it.'”
– Diane Mariechild

Dare to dream….it’s a really simple concept whose success relies solely on your own courage, persistence and willingness to follow your passion.

If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, you might want to check your local newsstand for the latest edition of The Hippo (or follow this link: http://www.hippopress.com/090820/HIPPO%20090820a.pdf) which features a story called “Open for Business – Six Stories of Following Your Dream in Uneasy Times.” The story follows six new businesses (Sunny’s Table in Concord, Ignite Bar & Grill in Manchester, Lisa’s Sweets in Milford, Network for Work in Nashua, Serenity Wellness and Health Center in Nashua and GreenSource Energy Solutions Solar Store in Concord – one of our Greenerpalooza vendors!) and their owners who have all made the incredible leap of faith required to start a new venture in challenging times.

hippo1Why is today the perfect day to dream and follow your entrepreneurial spirit? Well, first of all, why not? With most other business professionals choosing to stay in their jobs during times of uncertainty, the field is wide open for new business owners with fresh ideas.  Funding is scarce, so it will force you to develop a business model that will stand the test of time. Most importantly, solid business ideas and creativity are always welcome, no matter what the economic circumstance. Companies like Proctor & Gamble and Chevrolet not only grew, but thrived….in the Great Depression.

So congratulations to the six new businesses featured in The Hippo – we at the Division of Economic Development stand ready to assist you as you continue to make your dreams come true and offer our sincerest best wishes as you grow and thrive in the Granite State!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

“Doing Business With Saudi Arabia” Seminar Scheduled

Monday, August 17th, 2009

With more than $12 billion in exports flowing from the United States to Saudi Arabia in 2008 alone, there is perhaps no better time to explore business opportunities with the Middle East’s most import-intensive market. With that in mind, the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center will be holding a “Doing Business in Saudi Arabia” workshop at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development (172 Pembroke Road) on Thursday, August 20th from 9 a.m.-noon.

saudi_arabia_flag_mapSaudi Arabia features a vibrant business atmosphere, especially for U.S. companies in the following sectors – power generation, water, education, medical equipment, technology and IT as well as transportation and related logistical services.

Participants in this conference will receive an overview of the Saudi market including the logistics of exporting products and any unique characteristics distinguishing Saudi Arabia from other exporting partners. Panelists, including the President of the U.S. Saudi Business Council, will share their personal experiences of working with Saudi Arabian companies, offering firsthand insight into Saudi culture, business protocol and overall country customs.

The cost of the program is $40 per person. To register, please contact Katy Reno at (603) 271-8444 or katy.reno@dred.state.nh.us

Administered by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Office of International Commerce, the ITRC plans, develops and administers programs for international trade promotion and foreign market development.  For more information about the ITRC, call (603) 271-8444, or visit their website at www.exportnh.org.

Grant Opportunity for Awesome Ideas

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Feeling creative today? Have an incredible project that you’d like to collaborate on with a local academic institution?

The New Hampshire Innovation Research Center is soliciting proposals for research collaborations between new Hampshire industries and academic institutions.  The NHIRC’s Granite State Technology Innovation Grant program assists companies by funding research on their behalf at a university or college laboratory.  Nonbinding letters of intent are due September 21st and full proposals are due November 9th.

Here’s the official press release from the good folks over at the NHIRC:

“The New Hampshire Innovation Research Center (NHIRC) is seeking proposals for its Granite State Technology Innovation Grant, which supports research partnerships for New Hampshire companies with college and university laboratories.

tech2The grants support research projects in new technologies under development in the private sector. It is a competitive process, with oversight by representatives from industry, government and academic institutions. Projects vary from proof-of-concept to a substantial investment in engineering or process design. Companies are required to provide matching funds or services.

A nonbinding letter of intent on company letterhead is due September 21, 2009. The Request for Proposals, with topics of interest and instructions, is posted on the NHIRC website, www.nhirc.unh.edu.

The most recent recipients are:

·   Advanced Renewable Energy Company LLC in Nashua, with James Krzanowski, professor, mechanical engineering, UNH

·   Albany Engineered Composites, Inc. in Rochester, with Igor Tsukrov, associate professor, and Todd Gross, professor, mechanical engineering, UNH

·   Hypertherm, Inc. in Hanover, with Solomon Diamond, assistant professor, Thayer School, Dartmouth College

·   Itaconix LLC in Hampton Falls, with Yvon Durant, associate research professor, materials science, UNH

·   Velcro Group Corporation in Manchester, with Glen Miller, professor, chemistry and materials science, UNH

The NHIRC’s Granite State Technology Innovation Grant leverages a state investment with federal dollars from the National Science Foundation’s EPSCoR program (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) under Grant #EPS-0701730. The NHIRC and the New Hampshire EPSCoR program are administered by the Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization at the University of New Hampshire.”

What are you waiting for? Download the RFP and get to work on innovating in the Granite State!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director