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Archive for July, 2010

Wind, Solar and Geothermal….Oh My….

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Over 30 exhibitors will be displaying the latest energy efficiency offerings at Greenerpalooza III, scheduled for August 12th at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford.

A number of "green" vendors will be displaying their wares at Greenerpalooza III.

A number of "green" vendors will be displaying their wares at Greenerpalooza III.

Sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire, Citizens Bank and media sponsor NH Business Review in coordination with the NH Business Resource Center, Greenerpalooza is a celebration of energy efficiency efforts in the Granite State. Set against the backdrop of a Sheryl Crow/Colbie Caillat concert, this is a truly an event that encourages the exchange of information between green businesses and 5,000 concert goers.

This year, attendees will be able to visit with the following exhibitors:
Public Service of New Hampshire
Citizens Bank
Acorn Organic Salon
Build Green NH
Lakes Region Heating & AC
Ultra Geothermal
GDS Associates Inc.
Lakes Region Community College
Dawn Solar Systems
KW Management Inc.
Frase Electric LLC
Energy Audits Unlimited
ConVerdant Vehicles
Green Alliance
Water Energy Distributors
Just Be Products LLC
Sendout Cards
Atlantic Home Systems
The Mountain
The Water Depot of New England
NH Department of Environmental Services
Upper Valley Green
Greensource Energy Solutions
Stay Work Play
Resource Management, Inc.
NH Division of Economic Development
NH Business Review
Epiphanies, Inc.
Belknap Landscape Company

Greenerpalooza will also feature an appearance by Reverb this year. Reverb is a non-profit environmental organization that educates and engages musicians and their fans to promote environmental sustainability. It was founded by environmentalist Lauren Sullivan and her musician husband, Guster guitarist/vocalist Adam Gardner.

Reverb’s greening services include carbon neutral concerts and venues; biodiesel for vehicles and generators; waste reduction; biodegradable catering products; recycling; green bus supplies and cleaners; energy efficiency; green contract rider; eco-friendly merchandise; green sponsorship; and on site and on-line fan outreach.

To purchase tickets to Greenerpalooza III, visit www.meadowbrook.net.

And a Worker Shall Lead Them…

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Soon the United States workforce will be populated by people in charge of their own employment destiny – self assured, creative and able to handpick their work assignments.

workforceFar fetched? Not at all, especially when you consider how the working contract has changed for the professional worker over time. This month’s “Tomorrow’s Business Advice Today” column by Dr. Russ Ouellette examines that contract and discusses what happens when visionary thinkers like Dr. Elyse Barry of Sojourn Partners, Network for Work Co-Founders Tammy Hildreth and Paul Philbrick and NH Center for Public Policy Studies Economist Dennis Delay join together in a roundtable setting to discuss workforce development issues and the shift in the employer/employee dynamic.

To read this great piece, visit http://www.nheconomy.com/tomorrows-business-advice-today/.

Romance, Recycling and No Bull TV

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Romance, recycling and a healthy dose of frontier justice – that’s what’s on tap in the newest “Earth friendly” entries on No Bull TV.

For those of you who’ve forgotten (which is understandable as we haven’t been posting a ton of videos lately in advance of our latest extravagonzos), No Bull TV is the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s YouTube station featuring vids on Greenerpalooza, the WMUR Project Economy Job Fair and Career Expo, the Jericho ATV Park and more.

This year, as previously referenced on the No Bull Business Blog, we have partnered with the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion, Citizens Bank, Public Service of NH, Epiphanies Inc., New Hampshire Business Review and The Mountain to not only present Greenerpalooza III on August 12th, but to unveil the Granite Green Team, very much in evidence at select Meadowbrook concerts.

The Granite Green Team, a squad of eco-volunteers clad in very cool t-shirts designed by our friends at The Mountain, hands out seed cards with recycling and energy efficiency information on them at concerts throughout the Meadowbrook season. Located on the card is information that can also be used to sponsor the planting of a tree, a great way to build sustainability and encourage green practices.

To ensure that concert goers get the message about the benefits of recycling and observe eco-friendliness while visiting Meadowbrook, the Green Team pulled together a series of Public Service Announcements that make an important point while being entertaining at the same time.

In the following clips, Allen Voivod of Epiphanies Inc. fame, plays our resident rocker while PSNH Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott, Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion Marketing Director and I comprise the green jumpsuit stylin’ Granite Green Team. In the “Romance and Recycling” clip, Dan Freund of Kinney Hill (the video production team that did such a great job on this shoot) and Meadowbrook’s Kate Lilly play the couple who find love through recycling.

Special thanks to Emma Womack, Vice President of Corporate Development at Meadowbrook, for arranging the shoot and ensuring that these PSAs will run on the venue’s video wall throughout the 2010 season. Never thought that my buddies and I would be sharing the stage with Sugarland, Heart, Cheap Trick and the Zac Brown Band!!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Bringrr – Improving Memories One Cell Phone at a Time

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Sometimes remembering to bring your cell phone along can be as difficult as memorizing the words to the Gettysburg Address.

Thankfully, a new product designed by Manchester-based Bringrr is providing helpful reminders for forgetful cell phone users as well as reassurances for busy people “on the go.” For its efforts in creating a product that saves both time and productivity, Bringrr has been named the “Innovation Rocks!” award winner by the New Hampshire Business Resource Center for the month of July.

bringrrWith CTIA – The Wireless Association announcing that there are over 276M cell phone subscribers in the United States, Bringrr’s development of a product that gives users a “safety net” to ensure that they have their mobile technology when they need it most is particularly timely.

The way that Bringrr works is simple – it works in any car and with any phone that has Bluetooth capabilities. All the user has to do is plug it into a car’s power port or lighter outlet and pair it with a cell phone. Once the car has started, Bringrr searches for the cell phone to confirm that it is in the car. If the phone is found, Bringrr sends out a short, reassuring auditory confirmation and its light turns blue. If the cell phone isn’t detected, Bringrr sends out an auditory warning and its light turns red.

“Everyone knows how incredibly frustrating it can be to leave home on a busy day without your cell phone,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “That’s why a product like Bringrr is particularly noteworthy and important to everyday living. While in the past, you could drive 20 or 30 miles before realizing that you’ve forgotten your phone, now you can resolve that issue before you even leave the driveway.”

For more information about Bringrr, visit www.bringrr.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.

Jericho ATV Festival “A Big Success” for Local Economy

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

On Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11—on what normally would have been a quiet weekend—cars and trucks with ATV trailers packed parking lots along Route 110 in Berlin and filled municipal lots with access to the local ATV trail. The reason: the Can-Am Jericho ATV Festival, a first-time event at Jericho Mountain State Park that brought thousands of ATV enthusiasts to the North Country.

(Photo Credit: Lorna Colquhoun/NH Grand)

(Photo Credit: Lorna Colquhoun/NH Grand)

Roy Duddy, Interim Director of the NH Division of Economic Development, the agency that provided the seed money to develop the event through a federal grant administered locally by the North Country Council, says the event exceeded expectations.

“A crowd of more than 2,000 spectators and ATV and UTV riders and enthusiasts attended the two-day event—a huge turn-out for a new event,” he said. “We’re especially pleased because the Festival is part of a key economic development initiative funded by the State that’s designed to bolster and stabilize the economy of Coos County and establish it as an outdoor recreation center. The event introduced the newest State Park to a wide audience and showcased it as off-highway recreational vehicle (OHRV) hub for the region.”

Duddy praised the many agencies, organizations and individuals who made the event possible.

“In New Hampshire, we’re really good at bringing together a broad spectrum of stakeholders to push economic development initiatives forward in new and creative ways,” he said. “Here we have a State Park and a festival that can serve as an economic engine for Berlin thanks to the efforts of the local ATV clubs, the Trails Bureau and State Parks staffs, local businesses, and Festival sponsors. We were able to make it a free event—no admission was charged—and to encourage out-of-state riders to come, since any ATV or trail bike that was used only at the event— that is, within Jericho Mountain State Park, the Cross-City Trail and the Success Trail—didn’t need a NH registration during the Festival.”

The biggest draw of the Festival was mud pit competition at what organizers believe is the biggest such manmade “mud bog” in New England. Local ATV clubs ran an obstacle course and poker run competitions, a “romp in the hay,” a fry pan toss, and guided trail rides on the Park’s scenic trails; while the Trails Bureau ran a scavenger hunt and was on hand with information about OHRV use. Riders were able to demo the latest Can-Am ATV models or talk with representatives from local clubs about riding in the area.

For Duddy, the true test of the event was how it impacted local businesses.

Pam Feldhouse, owner of the Cedar Pond Campground in Milan wrote event organizers, “We were full of festival people! We had a great weekend—they all were happy with the festival and everyone is looking forward to next year! We sent people to local establishments throughout the weekend for meals, shopping and essentials like ice and beverages. It certainly filled a weekend we wouldn’t have normally filled.”

Janice Thompson, an attendee from Massachusetts, wrote, “Just wanted to say thanks for a great time yesterday at the ATV Festival. We live in Massachusetts (have an ATV registered in NH) and got my cousins in Vermont to join us at the festival. The trails are beautiful, and despite a bit of rain, a good time was had by all. We spent about five hours there. Hope to see it get bigger and better next year. Congratulations on a job well done and thanks again!”

Duddy says plans are already being formed for next year’s event.

“I understand that the date for the 2011 festival will likely be announced next month,” he said. “There’s such a huge potential here. As we get more people vacationing and riding in Berlin, the outlook for the local economy should improve. I wouldn’t be surprised to see ATV enthusiasts purchasing second homes in the area. All around, it’s a win-win situation.”

Jericho Mountain State Park is open year round 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, except during mud season: April (or loss of continuous snow cover) through May 23. A NH registration is required for all OHRVs except during the Festival. For more information on the Park and the Festival, visit www.JerichoATVFestival.com.

State Business Recruitment Team Takes to the Road

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Nearly 30 commercial real estate brokers recently joined the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s business recruitment team on a regional bus tour of available facilities in Farmington, Rochester, Dover, Somersworth and Portsmouth.

“Telling someone about a great site for a business expansion or relocation is one thing, but showing them allows them to get a real feel for the property,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “In addition to providing an overview of available commercial real estate, we also had a captive audience to speak to about free State services that can help their clients’ businesses to thrive in New Hampshire.”

broker-tour-june-2010-farmington-to-pease-013Sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire, the Summer Real Estate Tour gave participants insight into larger commercial projects taking place throughout the state and also provided introductions to economic development representatives from each municipality. While on the bus route between stops, State Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron gave a presentation on area demographics, labor needs and housing trends.

“I found the economic development representatives from the Seacoast towns to be very informative and positive in their presentations,” said Leonard, Lee & Company Vice President Pam Lynch. “I was very impressed to see the amount of new construction and business expansions in the area, especially in the manufacturing and medical office sectors. Those are the types of jobs that will drive New Hampshire’s economic recovery.”

“Vowing to learn at least one new thing every day, I was ecstatic to have attended the bus tour,” added Bob Anderson of Prudential Verani Commercial. “With experts from many different Seacoast cities and towns, this was a very eventful and informative trip.”

Public Service of New Hampshire Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott welcomed the chance to participate after helping to coordinate similar tours in the North Country as well as southern New Hampshire.

“Providing commercial real estate brokers with the information they need to make wise decisions for their clients creates economic development opportunities in New Hampshire,” McDermott said. “New businesses mean new jobs and increased economic prosperity for all citizens.”

New Online Virtual Community for Small Business Launched

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

As part of a continuing effort to connect businesses with the resources and services they need to be successful and grow, and to answer questions growing small businesses may have, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development yesterday unveiled MyExpertNet.

Dr. William Osgood of the Knowledge Institute looks on as Governor John Lynch announces the unveiling of the MyExpertNet initiative.

Dr. William Osgood of the Knowledge Institute looks on as Governor John Lynch announces the unveiling of the MyExpertNet initiative.

MyExpertNet is a virtual community created through a public-private partnership where small businesses can get answers to business questions from qualified experts, and connect with other members of the business community to share ideas, resources and markets. The initiative is the result of collaboration between the Knowledge Institute, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Comcast, Public Service of New Hampshire, Centrix Bank and Unitil.

“Over the last several years we have worked to give businesses the tools needed to help them be successful, to grow their companies and create jobs,” Gov. John Lynch said. Under Gov. Lynch, the State of New Hampshire has reinstated the Job Training Fund, and more than 7,000 workers from across New Hampshire have received enhanced training. The State, which has 7th best business tax environment in the nation, created a Research and Development Tax Credit to help innovative companies grow.

“These have been difficult economic times for our state and our businesses. That is why it is important we continue to work with small businesses to help ensure they have what they need to grow,” Gov. Lynch said. “Through MyExpertNet, small businesses can have their questions answered by one of the many volunteer experts. It is important to connect business people with the information they need to be successful and this is one more way we are doing that.”

Over 40 business professionals have volunteered to serve as experts and provide their time, skills and expertise for the initiative. These experts will cover areas ranging from accounting and energy efficiency to federal contracting and international trade. Additional experts will be added in the future, providing entrepreneurs with the opportunity to have their questions answered by more than one professional in each subject area.

“MyExpertNet is an environment where all participants add value and all receive value a true win-win for all involved,” said Knowledge Institute President/CFO Dr. William Osgood, architect of the initiative. “This innovative concept also represents a model that other states can embrace to further the positive impact in building small business strength across the country. We’re pleased that New Hampshire is, once again, a leader in this critical arena.”

Comcast's Peter Marsh discusses how his company has supported the creation of the new virtual community for small businesses.

Comcast's Peter Marsh discusses how his company has supported the creation of the new virtual community for small businesses.

Major sponsor Comcast has committed to run a MyExpertNet promotional television spot throughout its New Hampshire operating area to help increase awareness of the service.

“Spreading the word about this innovative new initiative ensures that more businesses are given the opportunity to grow and thrive,” said Peter Marsh, Vice President of Business Services for Comcast’s Greater Boston Region. “Comcast is pleased to help small business owners stay focused on growing their business by connecting local owners with the best thought leaders on MyExpertNet.”

“In today’s fast-paced economy, the ability of the public and private sectors to work cooperatively is key in supporting job creation and building an environment where everyone feels responsible for building the economy,” added Public Service of New Hampshire Business Development Manager Gordon Tuttle. “MyExpertNet not only builds closer relationships between the government and the business community, it creates the type of virtual mentorships between experts and entrepreneurs that truly define the term `paying it forward.'”

Sojourn Partners Managing Partner Russ Ouellette, an expert in the “management” category, said that he is pleased to be part of an initiative that allows entrepreneurs to relieve some of their anxiety about business creation and development.

“Anyone who has ever started a business knows that the process is daunting at best and terrifying at worst,” he said. “To have someone who has been through what you’re going through and who is willing to take the time to help you navigate the rough waters is invaluable. This is a great initiative.”

To learn more about MyExpertNet, visit www.myexpertnet.org. Business professionals interested in joining the online expert community are asked to contact Dr. William Osgood at (603) 658-0340 or wro@buzgate.org. To view a list of the registered experts, visit http://www.myexpertnet.org/volunteers.html.

More High Tech Jobs Come to the River Valley

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Hypertherm has announced plans to hire and train up to 15 more CNC Machinists for the third time this year. Hypertherm made the announcement just weeks after they hired 14 machinists in June.

“This is tremendous news for both the company and for potential employees in New Hampshire and Vermont,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “Hypertherm, which was recently named our ‘Innovate in the Granite State’ award winner, continues to offer well-paying high tech jobs with an upward career trajectory. We salute their efforts and are pleased that they continue to grow and thrive in New Hampshire.”

hypertherm-operatorThe CNC machinist positions are for second and third shift operations. Workers will earn a starting wage of$12 per hour with full benefits. Wages may increase incrementally over two years to $14-16 per hour, based on each individual’s performance.

“We are fortunate to have the challenge of expanding our workforce needs to meet growing demand for ourproducts. How well we meet this challenge will be determined by how well we can hire and educate a trained workforce,” said Jim Miller, Hypertherm’s Vice President of Manufacturing.

The hiring will be conducted through their partnership with the River Valley Community College’s STAR program. The STAR program launched in December of 2008 offers workers an accelerated, two-year advanced manufacturing apprenticeship while being employed with Hypertherm. At the same time, these workers will earn college credits which can be applied towards an associate’s degree at the college.

“River Valley Community College is committed to the creation of education and training that serve the needs of employers, the New Hampshire workforce, and the economic development needs of the state and our region. This partnership represents a strategy that builds upon the strengths of the college, our state economic development agencies, and the private sector in delivering a truly comprehensive program leading to job placement,” stated Steve Budd, President, River Valley Community College.

Program participants will be selected through a rigorous recruitment process beginning with a mandatory job fair to be held on Saturday, July 17th at the Hypertherm Technical Training Institute in Lebanon, NH starting at 8:00am. The job fair will include presentations from Hypertherm staff as well as assessments and interviews with Hypertherm recruiters.

Participants will also have the opportunity to receive a nationally recognized industry certification through the USDOL Apprenticeship Division.

“The New Hampshire State Apprenticeship Council is proud to be a part of this program,” says Charles Vaughan, of the New Hampshire US/DOL apprenticeship office. “The STAR education model is unique and will give us an opportunity to evaluate a different way of thinking about
training apprentices throughout the state.”

The STAR program is funded by two grants from the US Department of Labor, one secured through the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and one secured through the office of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

“New Hampshire’s and Vermont’s desire and commitment to recruit and educate CNC machine operatorsmeets a critical need of the Upper Valley business community.” said Jim Miller. “We very much appreciate the support we are receiving on both sides of the river. Although we are located in New Hampshire, many of our associates live in Vermont.”

Applications are encouraged as soon as possible. Individuals interested in applying to the program must visit the college website at www.rivervalley.edu to fill out an online application. Questions and inquiries can be directed to Jim Britton, River Valley Community College, at (603) 542-7744 x346, or email at jbritton@ccsnh.edu. Up-to-date program information will be posted regularly on the website.