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Archive for June, 2010

Plan Released for Merrimack Valley Manufacturing Growth

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

A strategic plan for growing the manufacturing base of the Merrimack Valley calls for increased collaboration among industry, education and workforce agencies in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Leaders from both states recently unveiled the “Merrimack Valley Regional Innovation Grant” plan, the result of a $250,000 federal grant that surveyed the needs of manufacturing companies in the two-state region.

merrimack-valley-rig“The Merrimack Valley has 90,000 advanced manufacturing jobs, split equally between New Hampshire and Massachusetts, representing 18 percent of the region’s total employment and nearly 60 percent of the region’s gross domestic product,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “It’s vitally important to both states that we address the challenges and opportunities in manufacturing from a regional viewpoint.”

Duddy said manufacturers were surveyed and follow-up interviews were conducted to determine what measures are needed to prepare workers for success in the highly competitive advanced manufacturing environment.

“We know that advanced manufacturing in areas such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics and biometrics can produce good paying jobs in homeland security, medical equipment manufacturing, clean energy, aerospace and other areas of growth,” he said. “Advanced manufacturing requires workers skills with computers, the ability to read and translate diagrams and flow charts, and the ability to work in teams. We should align our educational and workforce training programs to meet these needs.”

The grant partners included workforce development agencies in Lawrence and Lowell, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire’s Office of Workforce Opportunity.

The strategic plan also calls for increased coordination in responding to layoffs and closures to get workers re-employed, new and innovative approaches to training incumbent and dislocated workers, and increased participation by career technical schools, community colleges and other educational facilities.

The Merrimack Valley Manufacturing Advocacy Collaborative, a group of manufacturing employers in the region, has been formed to engage stakeholders, including public and private companies and institutions.

A new web site, www.mvrig.org has been launched to coordinate and distribute data and ideas for sustaining and growing the manufacturing sector in Merrimack Valley.

Passion & Business Go Hand in Hand

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Passion….the dictionary describes it as any powerful or compelling emotion. In terms of business, it’s what drives the creativity to innovate and stirs the desire to excel in the boardroom and the shop floor. Without passion, there is no development, no forward momentum, no reason to wonder.

Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen

Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen

By checking out my latest blog posting on the NHBR Network titled “The Loneliness of a High Volume Eater,” (http://www.nhbrnetwork.com/profiles/blogs/the-loneliness-of-a-high) you’ll learn how passion drove a wide-eyed 22-year-old to run backstage at a Cheap Trick concert in a desperate attempt to meet Rick Nielsen and how passion caused a Japanese icon to down 68 hot dogs.

And after you’re done exploring your passion for reading, please join one of the state’s fastest growing social networks at www.nhbrnetwork.com. You’ll gain 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 and Clyde Terry. Sign up today!!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Free Microsoft Training Offer Extended to General Public

Monday, June 28th, 2010

With the demand for skilled information technology workers continuing to rise, Microsoft is offering free training to help Granite Staters gain the certification necessary to score well paying jobs and pursue an upward career track.

microsoftThrough a special initiative, unemployed job seekers have been taking part in free Microsoft training and certification at the 13 NH Works Career Centers throughout the state. On July 1, the vouchers for this training become available on a first come first served basis to anyone 18 years or older.

New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy said the $1.7 million worth of training vouchers distributed through the Microsoft Elevate America initiative will improve the skills and resumes of job seekers taking advantage of the one-time offer.

“Employers have told us they are looking for employees with good computer skills and that it has been difficult to find potential employees with these critical attributes,” Duddy said. “The free training vouchers available at the NH Works Centers will help develop higher skills in Microsoft Office products, as well as some advanced Information Technology (IT) programs.” Duddy’s office launched the program last month in coordination with New Hampshire Employment Security.

The 5,675 vouchers offer training in Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 suites and several IT courses and provides free certification examinations.

Applicants fill out a simple form at a NH Works Center and will receive the free voucher via email or regular mail.

Vouchers must be activated by August 19. For more information, visit http://www.nhworks.org/elevate.cfm.

Greenerpalooza III Something to Crow About

Monday, June 28th, 2010

For years, Grammy Award-winning musician Sheryl Crow has been spreading the word about environmental awareness through activism and song. Now she will be joined by a team of green minded public and private sector partners as she makes her way to the Granite State as part of her 2010 tour.

sheryl-crowCrow, joined by 2009 BMI Pop Award Songwriter of the year Colbie Caillat, will headline this year’s Greenerpalooza III concert on August 12th at 8 p.m. at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion.

Co-sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire and Citizens Bank in coordination with the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and media sponsor New Hampshire Business Review, Greenerpalooza III is a celebration of New Hampshire’s energy efficiency efforts. Over 5,000 concert goers will not only get to enjoy a concert from a multi-platinum artist, they will also be able to visit a special eco village on the Meadowbrook midway where vendors will be extolling the virtues of wind and solar power as well as other alternative energy sources.

“Greenerpalooza has been great at opening people’s eyes to the potential of a greener, more sustainable future,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director Steve Boucher. “By using the unifying force of music, we are able to help citizens to become more energy efficient, learn about new technologies and share a positive environmental message with their neighbors.”

Show headliner Sheryl Crow is no stranger to promoting and endorsing a green lifestyle. She is a founding member and one of the driving forces behind the Green Music Group, a coalition of musicians, industry leaders, and fans working to inspire widespread environmental action. Crow recently encouraged her fans to accept the Green Music Group Challenge, an earth friendly call-to-action that asks music fans to send an email to legislators expressing support for effective, fair environmental legislation.

“Sheryl is an excellent choice for this year’s Greenerpalooza event based on her strong record of supporting environmentally friendly initiatives,” said Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion Marketing Director Chris Lockwood. “She is an artist who isn’t afraid to take a stand and to live the message that she sends through her music. She’s truly dedicated to spreading the word that taking care of the planet is everyone’s responsibility.”

greenerpalooza-ii-030Greenerpalooza III has brought new partners into the fold for this year’s offering. Citizens Bank, a lending institution that has demonstrated a commitment to the community through its Champions in Action initiative as well as other charitable endeavors, has signed on as a co-sponsor, believing that encouraging sustainability fits in well with their corporate mission.

“We believe that a bank should contribute to the growth and vibrancy of its communities, said Cathleen A. Schmidt, president of Citizens Bank.  “We are excited to partner with the NH Division of Economic Development, Public Service of New Hampshire and other like-minded companies, to showcase eco-friendly initiatives at Greenerpalooza.  Attendees will have the chance to learn about our Green$ense incentive program, and how small everyday activities such as reducing paper-based transactions can have a tremendous impact on the environment and the world we live in.”

Also new to the event this year is the addition of the “Granite Green Team,” a virtual “green army” of volunteers who will collect recyclables at Meadowbrook concerts and distribute wild-flower seed cards that have an on-line voucher to plant a tree in an area in need of reforesting. The seed cards can be planted after the voucher is redeemed. A team of 4-6 representatives from Public Service of New Hampshire, the Division of Economic Development, Citizens Bank and social media partner Epiphanies, Inc. will each attend a show during the 2010 season and encourage concert goers to dispose of recyclables responsibly and to observe eco awareness in their daily living.

“This is a great new twist to Greenerpalooza,” said Pat McDermott, Public Service of New Hampshire’s Economic & Community Development Manager. “Recycling and making energy-efficiency improvements are simple, cost-effective ways to make a big difference in protecting the environment. Since 2003, our customers have reduced air emissions by more than 3.1 million tons by participating in PSNH’s portfolio of energy-efficiency programs. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 579,000 cars.”

Volunteers will all be clad in special t-shirts designed by Michael McGloin of Keene-based The Mountain, creators of the multi-million selling “Three Wolf Moon” shirt. The shirts feature a lushly growing tree with a guitar for a base and limbs extending from a recycling sign as birds fly off in the distance. 

“The design is a depiction of things that we typically associate with green living and shows the beauty of what can happen when work towards a better, more Earth-friendly future,” McGloin said. “We at The Mountain incorporate environmental friendliness into our business practices and are excited to be part of this team of people trying to make a positive difference.” 

Tickets to the Sheryl Crow and Colbie Caillat concert, which include entry into the eco-village, are available online at www.meadowbrook.net. To learn more about the latest happenings with Greenerpalooza, visit the newly created Greenerpalooza III Facebook page at www.facebook.com/greennh.

Fore….Techies and Rocket Scientists Alike

Friday, June 25th, 2010

If you can put together a kitchen table without a set of directions, create science fair projects for your children that are the envy of the classroom and make homemade gunpowder out of potassium nitrate and charcoal, this following press release from our friends at the NH High Tech Council is for you:

Golfers, get out your adjustable drivers, radar golf balls, laser putters and other technological tools you typically can’t use on the course.  At the first ever NH High Tech Council’s Techno Golf Tournament, all of these items and more are not only legal, golfers are encouraged to bring them! 

rodney_dangerfieldRegistration is now open for the tournament, which will be held at Stonebridge Country Club in Goffstown NH on Monday, September 27th beginning at 8:30 am.   The scramble tournament will be best ball, and will include prizes for hole in one, top three teams, last place, closest to the pin, longest drive, straightest drive, and the best technologically equipped foursome. The event will also include a raffle, lunch buffet, and a networking opportunity after the event. 

Registration is now open and can be done online at www.NHHTC.org/Register.  The per person fee is $150 and a foursome is $600.  A $1200 Corporate Foursome Sponsorship (Gold Package) is offered. Complete details for all sponsorships including Event, Luncheon Awards, Gold, Fairway and Registration are online at www.NHHTC/Sponsorship,

“We’re very excited to launch this new event and encourage those golf technologists out there to bring in their technologically assisted A-game,” said Art Bruinooge, member of the NHHTC Board and head of the committee planning the event. 

The NHHTC expects the event to be a sell-out and is encouraging early registration. Sponsorships are also available. To learn more, please call NHHTC at 924-8324 or go to www.NHHTC.org/Golf.

SBDC Launches New Online Finance Site for Entrepreneurs

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, an outreach program of the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics, has launched a new online course for entrepreneurs seeking guidance on how to finance a New Hampshire business. The course is the latest addition to the center’s broad offering of free online resources available to entrepreneurs.

sbdcDeveloped by the NH SBDC as the primary resource on financing a business in the state, the 90-minute course, “Financing a Business in NH,” contains a myriad of financing resources and tools for New Hampshire business owners and helps entrepreneurs navigate the maze of funding options available in the state.  

“The Small Business Development Center does an excellent job in assisting our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. This new online course is another way the Center is working to provide the assistance businesses and entrepreneurs need to be successful here in New Hampshire,” Gov. John Lynch said. 

The NH SBDC announced the launch of the course earlier this week at a meeting of the governor and Executive Council at the New Hampshire State House. The course is sponsored by the Community Bankers Association of New Hampshire, Inc., and is part of the center’s e-Learning program, which is sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire. 

“The growth and development of successful small businesses in NH will have a significant impact on job creation and the health of our economy,” states Peter Winship, Executive Director, Community Bankers Association of NH. “Through support of this new SBDC e-course New Hampshire’s community banks can actively provide direct financial resources and information 24/7 to New Hampshire’s business community.”   

 “’Financing a Business in NH’” is the most recent addition to the SBDC’s robust e-Learning program,” states SBDC director Mary Collins, “and we are thrilled to have the support and backing of our longtime partners,  the Community Bankers Association of NH.”  Launched in 2008, the e-Learning program provides entrepreneurs more than 23 courses in several areas of business, including management, finance and marketing, at no cost. New and experienced business owners may take a course in one sitting, or over time, depending on their schedules.  According to Collins, “More than 2,000 online courses have been completed by business owners and entrepreneurs in 203 NH communities since the program started.” To view “Financing a Business in NH,” visit the center’s e-Learning portal at http://www.nhsbdc.org/e-Learning-entrepreneurs.
The NH Small Business Development Center provides confidential business management consulting and educational programs to New Hampshire’s small businesses. The NH SBDC is the only NH agency that has full-time certified business advisors providing one-on-one, long-term, management consulting to small businesses. NH SBDC is a cooperative venture with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New Hampshire (DRED), the University System of New Hampshire, and the private sector. For more info on NH SBDC, visit www.nhsbdc.org.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state’s flagship public institution, enrolling more than 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.

New Book Club Launched for Professional Growth

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Books, business and better prospects for future success – this sounds like a recipe for a winning presentation. Congratulations to Lisa Landry and the good folks over at Savvy Workshop in Manchester for launching a professional book club series to help Granite Staters enhance their sales and productivity. Check out this press release regarding their first offering:

Manchester-based marketing group Savvy Workshop will launch the first in a series of professional book club events Wednesday, July 14 at 6 p.m. The Riveting Readers Book Club for Professional Growth and Career Development will discuss “How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients” by Jeffrey J. Fox. Fox will be on hand via teleconference to take questions from participants during the event.

Jeffrey Fox, author of "Rainmaker"

Jeffrey Fox, author of "Rainmaker"

“Rainmaker” is a Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestseller that focuses on people within an organization who bring in revenue—the firm’s “rainmakers.” The book is filled with tips on sales efficiency, effectiveness and style, and is geared to all employees in any company, in any industry, who are responsible for customer sales and satisfaction.

“We are very excited to present this unique take on the traditional book club with a fun and informative networking opportunity for our ‘savvy’ friends,” said Lisa Landry, President of Savvy Workshop. “Jeffrey Fox’s advice and expertise apply to anyone in business, whether a sales professional or not: Because we are all responsible for customer satisfaction, we are all rainmakers in our individual roles.”

Registration for the event is $30.00 and includes a hardcover copy of the book. Participants who bring their own copy may register for only $10.00. On-line registration is available at http://www.savvyrainmakers.eventbrite.com or by calling Savvy at (603) 656.9009.

About Savvy Workshop
Savvy Workshop promotes the success of its clients by learning about their businesses and supporting them to achieve their marketing objectives in every way. Savvy Workshop is a sister company to Print Savvy, a long-standing print management firm. www.savvyworkshop.com or www.printsavvy.com.

Greenerpalooza Award Nominees Sought

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Going grgreenerpalooza_image1een doesn’t just help save the planet, it also makes perfect business sense. That’s the message delivered by New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy in announcing plans for the 2010 Greenerpalooza Award.

The Greenerpalooza Award is given each year to a New Hampshire-based person, organization or initiative dedicated to energy efficiency. It recognizes the accomplishments of those who support and promote green efforts throughout the Granite State and who work tirelessly to ensure that New Hampshire maintains its position as a state which celebrates sustainability.

“As one of the ten greenest states in the nation, New Hampshire is home to a number of great individuals and organizations dedicated to finding solutions for the sustainability of our planet,” Duddy said. “We look forward to receiving a lot of nominations and being able to recognize the good work that’s taking place in the Granite State.”

Last year’s Greenerpalooza Award winner was Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy board member Richard Ober. Ober was recognized for his 25 years of non-profit leadership, public policy expertise and dedication to sustainable energy. As the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Vice President of Civic Leadership and Communications, he continues to work to unite public and private partners to address the state’s most significant challenges including energy policy, affordable housing, transportation, state park management, substance abuse,and deliberative democracy.

This year’s award will be presented at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford prior to the Greenerpalooza III concert featuring Sheryl Crow and Colbie Caillat on August 12. Co-sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire and Citizens Bank in coordination with the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and media sponsor New Hampshire Business Review, Greenerpalooza III is a celebration of New Hampshire’s energy efficiency efforts. Over 5,000 concert goers will not only get to enjoy a concert from a multi-platinum artist, they will also be able to visit a special eco village on the Meadowbrook midway where vendors will be extolling the virtues of wind and solar power as well as other alternative energy sources.

To submit a nominee for the Greenerpalooza Award, please send a 500 word essay on the merits of the candidate to Steve Boucher at sboucher@dred.state.nh.us by July 16. Tickets to the Sheryl Crow and Colbie Caillat concert, which include entry into the eco-village, are available online at www.meadowbrook.net. To learn more about the latest happenings with Greenerpalooza, visit the newly created Greenerpalooza III Facebook page at www.facebook.com/greennh.

Holase Inc. Named June “Innovation Rocks!” Winner

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

The creation of the most compact traffic signal in the world gave the New Hampshire Business Resource Center a green light to present its June “Innovation Rocks!” award to Holase Incorporated.

uptmsThe Newmarket-based company, which designs, manufactures and sells information systems solutions for public safety, first responders and homeland security, created the Ultra Portable Traffic Management System (UPTMS), a traffic signal that fits inside a duffel bag and easily stows in the trunk of a compact car. All units are capable of being programmed independently using the intelligent secure wireless remote control.

Holase developed the UPTMS to ensure the safety of its users when deployed during emergency situations and during work zone details. The product is also energy efficient in that it features optional solar panels that provide the possibility of operating the system indefinitely.

“Holase has created a product that saves time when it is needed most and allows first responders to do their jobs efficiently and safely,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “Emergency personnel everywhere can thank this New Hampshire company for its creativity and innovation.”

For more information about Holase Incorporated, visit www.holase.com

“Innovation Rocks!” is an initiative sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Business Resource Center in coordination with Rock 101 (WGIR-FM) and the The Pavilion at the Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Downtown to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of New Hampshire innovators.

“Opportunities in the Canadian Market” Focus of Seminar

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Recognizing that U.S. agricultural exports to Canada have increased nearly 62 percent over the past five years, the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center will present a seminar titled “Opportunities in the Canadian Market” on Friday, June 25th from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Southern New Hampshire University Seacoast (231 Corporate Drive in Portsmouth).

canada1Co-sponsored by Food Export USA-Northeast, this seminar will provide an overview of the Canadian market by In-Market Representative Kathy Boyce including discussions on the economy, geography and demographics. In addition, participants will receive the latest information on consumer trends in Canada, market entry strategies for U.S. food companies, Canadian packaging and labeling regulations and an explanation of NAFTA rules.

The price of the seminar is $85 per person and breakfast and lunch are included. For registration details, please visit www.exportnh.org/calendar/registration.aspx. For questions, contact Katerina Papaioannou at (603) 271-8444 or katerina.papaioannou@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