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Archive for March, 2010

Gov. Lynch Announces Workers, Businesses Will Be Able to Enroll in First Part of NH Working on Monday

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Gov. John Lynch today announced that starting Monday workers and businesses will able to enroll in the first part of New Hampshire Working, the Governor’s jobs initiative.

Gov. Lynch, joined by lawmakers and Employment Security Commissioner Tara Reardon, announced the launch of the enrollment process that will allow workers to participate in up to six weeks of on-the-job training from a potential employer while continuing to collect unemployment benefits. This launch represents one part of the Governor’s three-part jobs initiative.

workingsessions“This initiative will reduce the upfront costs companies bear in training new workers – making it easier for them to hire. And it will allow workers to get their foot in the door at company looking to hire, giving them the opportunity to show their skills,” Gov. Lynch said.

New Hampshire Working leverages existing resources to help businesses and workers recover from the recession.

“The funding required for these programs is money we are already spending – but with New Hampshire Working we’re spending it better, in a way that is helping companies and workers, and reducing costs for taxpayers,” Gov. Lynch said.

New Hampshire Working, is a three-part approach to help businesses in this economic downturn and help New Hampshire citizens stay at work if they already have jobs, return to work if they are unemployed and ensure that they are ready to work at new jobs.

Senate Bill 501, which is making its way through the legislative process, is required to implement the two other parts of New Hampshire.

Under the other parts of New Hampshire Working, the state will partner with businesses and workers to provide an alternative to layoffs. Companies and workers would agree to reduced hours instead of layoffs, and the state would make up part of the lost wages for workers through unemployment benefits.

Workers would keep their jobs, their health insurance and most of their income. Companies would retain the skilled workers they need to recover. Taxpayers would avoid increased costs as the demand for state services increases as unemployment rises. And, with more people working, New Hampshire’s economy would be stronger.

Under the third part of New Hampshire working, New Hampshire job agencies will develop a plan for assessing the job skills of all newly unemployed workers. Workers will be able to take the results of those assessments to potential employers, giving business owners confidence that new hires will have the necessary skills.

Gov. Lynch has also proposed doubling the state’s job training fund to $2 million a year in 2011 and to allowing Employment Security to use to train unemployed workers.

“I have met a number of our people who everyday are looking for work. We must continue to do everything that we can to help them. That’s the goal of New Hampshire Working. We cannot and will not rest until everyone in New Hampshire who wants a job, can get a job,” Gov. Lynch said.

Two New Innovative Programs to Launch in North Country

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Gov. John Lynch and the Executive Council yesterday approved the use federal Workforce Investment Act funds to establish two new innovative programs to help North Country residents build their own businesses and connect North Country workers with jobs.

self-employed-health-insurance-optimizedWhite Mountain Community College in Berlin will administer the two new programs: The North Country Business Launch Pad and the New Hampshire Talent Team.

“Even before the onset of this recession, the North Country’s economy lagged behind the rest of the state. We must work to ensure economic recovery comes to every part of New Hampshire, which is why are launching these two new efforts to help North Country citizens build their own businesses and to connect North Country workers with jobs,” said Gov. Lynch.

The North Country Launch Pad will assist residents of Coos, northern Grafton and Carroll counties in starting their own businesses. The college will work with entrepreneurs to develop business plans, to help them develop marketing plans, and to connect them with financing and other resources.

This initiative will provide aspiring entrepreneurs in the North Country the technical support they need to build their own businesses – and to create jobs for their neighbors.

The New Hampshire Talent Team will focus on training individuals who want to work at the new federal prison slated to open in September. The college will also provide technical assistance to companies that have goods and services to sell to the prison.

“The new federal prison is estimated to employ 300 people, and the facility will require supplies and support from businesses. I want to make sure these jobs go to North Country workers and businesses. This initiative will help position North Country businesses and workers to reap the economic benefits of this new facility,” Gov. Lynch said.

“These two new initiatives are excellent news for the North Country,” said Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald. “Not only will citizens be able to pursue their dream of business creation, they will also have the opportunity to gain important skills to secure employment at the new prison. These initiatives will help to build a stronger and more vibrant local economy.”

Wild for Innovation Info Now Available

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Fridays can get pretty wild in the Granite State and last Friday, a group of approximately 50 business leaders got wild at the University of New Hampshire…..wild for innovation that is.

UNH Facilities Design and Construction Executive Director Larry Van Dessel (r.) leads a tour of James Hall as NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy (l.) looks on.

UNH Facilities Design and Construction Executive Director Larry Van Dessel (r.) leads a tour of James Hall as NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy (l.) looks on.

Sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and Public Service of New Hampshire in partnership with the University of New Hampshire, Wild for Innovation was a perfect opportunity for local businesses to learn more about the exciting efforts underway at UNH to support creativity and economic development.  At the event, we heard about the changing demographics of the state from Carsey Institute Senior Demographer Ken Johnson, gained insight into the Green Launching Pad which is dedicated to successfully launching green businesses and learned about EcoLine, a landfill gas-to-energy project that uses purified methane gas from a nearby landfill to power the campus.

We also were very fortunate to gain leadership skills from Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Management Vanessa Druskat, Ph.D. and to receive some excellent teamwork tips from UNH Women’s Lacrosse Coach Michael Daly and Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach Jarrod Zwirko. 

To cap off the evening, we even watched the UNH Wildcats men’s hockey team clinch first place in Hockey East by storming back from three goals down in the third period to tie the BC Eagles.

Special thanks to UNH Sports Properties’ Jenna Kubesch for helping to organize the day’s events and to the entire UNH campus for being so welcoming and hospitable!

To view the presentations from the event, please visit: http://www.nheconomy.com/WildforInnovation.aspx.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

LRCC Statewide Energy Training a Success

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Lakes Region Community College (LRCC), with the assistance of a NH Division of Economic Development sponsored grant, announces that the initial 2009 Building Performance Institute (BPI) Energy Certification statewide trainings have been a success.  To date, 84 students have completed the rigorous six-and-a-half-day training program in Laconia, Littleton, Nashua, and Concord.   

“The BPI statewide trainings are designed to prepare individuals to satisfactorily complete the BPI Building Analyst Certification written and field tests,” says Andy Duncan, Ph.D. (Bow), Principal, Building Energy Technologies, LLC, the main instructor of LRCC’s statewide course.  “It has been exciting to be at the forefront of the green movement in the State.”  Duncan was a professor of Environmental Science at New England College (Henniker) from 1997 to 2003 before entering his own business. 

LRCC Statewide Building Analyst Certification Trainer, Andy Duncan (left), talks with former student, Eric Halter (Concord-right), prior to a Community College System of NH Board of Trustees meeting held earlier this month.

LRCC Statewide Building Analyst Certification Trainer, Andy Duncan (left), talks with former student, Eric Halter (Concord-right), prior to a Community College System of NH Board of Trustees meeting held earlier this month.

The Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI), a nationally recognized standards development and contractor credentialing organization for residential energy efficiency retrofit work, reported exponential growth in 2009.  BPI affiliate training organizations grew  by more than 35% through August of 2009, from 70 to 95, and 108 training affiliates were expected to be on board by the end of 2009, an increase of almost 300% over 12 months.  

“Given the rise of green jobs and the need for energy auditors statewide, the NH Public Utilities Commission grant with the NH Division of Economic Development as the sponsoring partner, is tremendous news for New Hampshire,” says NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director, Roy Duddy.  “This training will not only allow more NH businesses and residents to become more energy efficient, it will also provide an excellent career path for interested students.” 

Students completing the training satisfactorily and who pass the coveted BPI Building Analyst certification may become energy auditors, analysts, building operators, resource conservation managers, technical service representatives, and measurement and verification technicians. 

For additional information, contact LRCC Academic Affairs Vice President Tom Goulette (Belmont) or Administrative Secretary Andree Thibault (Concord), at 524-3207.

Over $3 Million Available to Finance Energy Improvements

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

New Hampshire businesses and nonprofit organizations are invited to submit proposals for low-interest loans for energy-efficiency improvements and renewable-energy projects.

cdfaThe Enterprise Energy Fund was created by a $3.5-million award to the Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) by the Office of Energy and Planning‘s State Energy Program, from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The fund is a low-interest loan and grant program to help finance energy improvements in buildings owned or leased by small, medium, and large businesses and nonprofits statewide.

Of the $3.5 million, $2.5 million will go to large commercial businesses and nonprofits. The remaining $1 million will be administered by CDFA’s partner organization, the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, for small commercial businesses and nonprofits. 

The majority of the funds will be loaned to businesses and nonprofits to help them reduce their energy costs and consumption. The loans will range from $10,000 to $500,000, with interest rates ranging between two and four percent. 

A small portion of the fund will pay for energy audits, provide down payments on energy efficiency projects to businesses and to nonprofits that provide essential services and have been hardest hit by the recession, leverage significant private sector funds, and encourage investments in renewable energy. 

CDFA Executive Director Kathy Bogle Shields

CDFA Executive Director Kathy Bogle Shields

“We know that many businesses and nonprofits have been hit hard by the economy,” said Kathy Bogle Shields, CDFA Executive Director. “This Fund was designed to help reduce energy consumption and costs, in hopes that money can be redirected back into the business and spur economic recovery.” 

“Small businesses and nonprofits operate with the thinnest of margins. They often can’t afford the up-front costs even for energy improvements that will pay for themselves in decreased costs,” said Community Loan Fund President Juliana Eades. “For some of them, the Enterprise Energy Fund may make those improvements possible.” 

New Hampshire businesses and nonprofits, regardless of size, interested in performing energy-efficiency improvements or energy audits for their buildings are encouraged to complete the Initial Inquiry Energy Financing form on CDFA’s online grants management system at www.nhcdfagrants.org by April 30, 2010. All funds need to be awarded by April 2012.

CDFA, created by legislation in 1983, is a nonprofit public instrumentality of the State of New Hampshire. CDFA administers nearly $40 million in funding resources, which includes a combination of state tax credits and federal Community Development Block Grant, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Energy Reduction Funds. CDFA supports the development of vibrant and resilient communities by providing resources for community development efforts. For more information about CDFA and its programs visit www.nhcdfa.org or call 603-226-2170.

The Community Loan Fund turns investments into loans and education to create opportunity and transform lives across New Hampshire. It collaborates with a wide range of donors and lenders, and with business, nonprofit and government partners, to provide the financing and support people need to own homes, have quality jobs and child care, and become financially independent. Established in 1983, the Community Loan Fund was one of the first Community Development Financial Institutions in the nation, and has received industry awards and recognition for social impact, financial strength and performance. For more information, visit www.communityloanfund.org or call 603-224-6669.

Leadership in the 21st Century Focus of NH BizCast

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Leadership – it’s the quality that separates high performing businesses from the rest of the pack, but how is it cultivated? Better yet, what skills will define the next generation of leaders? “Leadership in the 21st Century” is the title of the new free NH BizCast webinar slated for Wednesday, March 17th from noon-1 p.m.

“Determining the correct organizational structure can mean the difference between a company’s success or failure,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “With the rapid changes taking place in today’s economy, it’s important to not only reexamine leadership, but to look at the trends that will help us to build quality teams that are able to adapt and reinvent themselves in new and innovative ways.”

Dr. Russ Ouellette

Dr. Russ Ouellette

Offered by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, the March 17th NH BizCast will feature Dr. Russ Ouellette, managing partner of Sojourn Partners, a Bedford-based executive coaching/leadership development firm. Ouellette is a recognized expert in high performance coaching, executive leadership and organizational development as well as a passionate speaker and advocate for contemporary open system organizational thinking.

In this presentation, Ouellette will discuss future opportunities for businesses, workers and society, what leadership will look like in just a few decades and current trends that are calling for and shaping fundamental changes in today’s workforce.

Ouellette began his professional career in finance at Raytheon Company, where he led many teams in various functions, including manufacturing, engineering, contracts, and organizational development. He has also engaged in a variety of industries, including financial services, healthcare, marketing, automotive, and the military.

Currently, Ouellette’s consulting centers on executive performance, firm strategic planning, and organizational intervention. In addition, he teaches thesis graduate students and contributes to the development of a doctorial program at New England College. He also teaches organizational leadership at the University of Phoenix and mentors many doctoral students through dissertation.

As is the case with all NH BizCasts, the free Webcast will be hosted live at the Comfort Inn (71 Hall Street) in Concord and will feature a live audience.

For more information and to attend the NH BizCast, visit http://www.nheconomy.com/bizcast/. Those planning on participating in the live audience at the Comfort Inn are asked to pre-register by contacting Leslie Sherman at (603) 271-2591 or leslie.sherman@dred.state.nh.us.

To get a taste of Dr. Ouellette’s latest blog posting, check out his “Tomorrow’s Business Advice Today” column at:

The Value of a Job

Friday, March 5th, 2010

What’s the value of a job? Well, that answer certainly lies in the eyes of the beholder as you will see from my newest blog posting on the NHBR Network.

jobOne media outlet had its own take on the value of the Coos County Tax Credit yesterday and it’s good to take a second look at this incentive through a different prism.

The NHBR Network is the state’s online business-to-business networking site that is providing businesspeople around New Hampshire with valuable information, tips and assistance from a team of contributors that include NHBR Editor Jeff Feingold, Andy Volinsky, Chuck Sink, Heidi Page, Steven Feinberg, CPA, Bill Ryan, Jason Blais, Deb Titus, Deb LeClair, Cindy Kibbe, Bob Sanders, Dr. John Benson, Clyde Terry and your humble “No Bull” business blogger…me. Sign up today!!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

NH Bio/Med Council Launches Best In Bio Series

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

The New Hampshire Bio/Medical Council has announced that it will kick off its Best in Bio series of educational events with a session titled “Clinical Trials- Why Bother?” on Thursday, March 18th at 5:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside.

clinical-trialAll biomedical companies know the power of clinical trials. They add value to each enterprise, whether they are for initial approvals, reimbursement or showing outcomes of existing products. Each year, more and more regulations and institutional requirements add to the complexity and difficulty of completing effective trials. The New Hampshire Bio/Med Council has brought together industry experts to discuss this important aspect of the industry and to answer questions. This panel includes: Cynthia L. Owens, M.A., C.C.R.C. Vice President and Co-Founder of Asentral, Inc., Salisbury, MA, John Schwope, President and Founder, Simplified Clinical Data Systems, Milford, NH and Peter N. Madras, M.D., F.A.C.S., Chairman of Asentral, Inc. IRB.

Attend this outstanding program if you are planning to sponsor a clinical trial, are currently sponsoring clinical trials or are interested in this crucial step towards taking a product to market. This will be of interest to regulatory and clinical professionals along with R&D and general management staff. Tickets are $25.00 for members and $35.00 for non-members. The event begins with networking from 5:30-6:00 p.m. followed by the panel. Light refreshments will be served. Registration information can be found at www.nhbiomed.org/bestinbio.

Congratulations Meadowbrook!!

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

How do you define excellence? Is it based on exemplary customer service, consistent innovation and progressive management?

No matter what measure is being utilized, the simple truth of the matter is that our good friends and partners at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion continue to be a “jewel” of the Granite State.

meadowbrook-photoEarlier this week, the Academy of Country Music announced its nominations for the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, and for the third time in the past four years, the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford finds itself on the list of the top five sites nominated as venue of the year.

An article in this morning’s Union Leader digs deeper into the Meadowbrook story.

“This is an amazing honor for us,” said RJ Harding, president of the Lakes Region concert spot. “We are hoping that the third time is the charm.”

To be nominated, a venue must have had at least six country performances during the year. Meadowbrook in 2009 hosted Sugarland, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Big and Rich, Dierks Bentley, Jimmy Wayne, Blake Shelton, Craig Morgan, Luke Bryan, Willie Nelson and Chris Young.

The Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion is ranked in the top 50 ampitheaters in the world for attendance for the 2009 season, according to Pollstar, an industry expert in box office attendance.

“We are a mid-sized, privately-owned venue that is competing with 20,000 seat venues owned by national companies to get shows and sell tickets,” said Chris Lockwood, Meadowbrook’s director of marketing.

Harding credits not only industry officials who choose to book acts at Meadowbrook but its loyal following for its success.

“We have the best music fans here in New England,” Harding said. “We could not have done this without them.”

On behalf of all of us here at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, congratulations to the incredible management and staff of Meadowbrook and here’s hoping that the Academy honors our homegrown success story with the venue of the year award!

Meadowbrook has already announced the first few shows in its 2010 schedule – to learn more, visit www.meadowbrook.net or become their Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Gilford-NH/Meadowbrook-US-Cellular-Pavilion/102791396298?ref=ts.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

International Trade Resource Center Offering NAFTA Training Seminar

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has created the world’s largest free trade area, linking 444 million people producing $17 trillion worth of goods and services. In an effort to help local companies maximize all the opportunities this trade agreement offers, the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center will be holding a NAFTA Training Seminar on Monday, March 8th from 9 a.m.-noon at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development (172 Pembroke Road).

naftaA trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, NAFTA eliminates tariff or duty rates on most goods of U.S., Mexican or Canadian origin and increases market access and investment opportunities within the free trade area by liberalizing trade restrictions amongst the three nations.

This seminar, led by guest speaker Jeanette Reed, Vice President of Evolutions in Business, will help participants understand the principles of NAFTA, determine if their products qualify and gain insight into necessary documentation.

Please visit  www.exportnh.org/calendar/registration.aspx to register. For questions, contact Katy Reno at (603) 271-8444 or katy.reno@dred.state.nh.us.