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Archive for July, 2011

College Students Get Grand Slam Opportunity Thanks to Partnership

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

You can hit one out of the park in New Hampshire. That’s the message that a team of public and private sector partners want to deliver to young people exploring life in the Granite State following graduation.

The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Stay Work Play, Public Service of New Hampshire and the Futures Collegiate Baseball League have joined forces to offer a free night at the Nashua Silver Knights and Seacoast Mavericks games next Friday evening, July 29th to any current college students displaying a valid college ID.

“We want to send a clear message that New Hampshire is not only a great place to live and build a business, it is also a state with plenty of entertainment offerings,” New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director Steve Boucher said. “You don’t have to travel to Boston to have a great night out – there’s plenty to do right here in the most livable state in the nation.”

Created in 2009, the Stay Work Play organization seeks to expose more young people to the advantages of remaining in or returning to New Hampshire. The overall effort builds off the work of the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) and partnering organizations that established the 55% Initiative in 2007. That effort set a goal of encouraging at least 55% of the new graduates to stay compared to approximately 50% who currently stay.

Stay Work Play NH, Inc. was established as a nonprofit organization to further the 55% Initiative, support and advance several recommendations made by the Governor’s Task Force on Young Worker Retention, and serve as an independent organization to run a website and associated marketing effort geared at providing comprehensive information on what New Hampshire can offer to the 20-30 year old demographic in terms of staying, working, and playing here.

 “We feel like New Hampshire has an incredible story to tell and it’s public/private partnerships like this that demonstrate that this state is truly committed to retaining its best and brightest talent,” said Stay Work Play Executive Director Kate Luczko. “Getting young people out to network at a fun event like a baseball game is just one way to begin establishing the type of relationships that lead to the great quality of life New Hampshire is known for.”

Thanks to a partnership with the two New Hampshire-based teams in the four-team Futures Collegiate Baseball League, college students will get free admission to either the Nashua Silver Knights game vs. the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks at Holman Stadium at 7:05 p.m. or the Seacoast Mavericks game vs. the Torrington Titans at Bert George Field at 6:35 p.m. Both games are slated for Friday, July 29th.

“We’re really excited to be partnering with Public Service of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development to advance the good work already started by Stay Work Play,” said Futures Collegiate Baseball League Commissioner Chris Hall. “We’re fortunate to have two of our inaugural franchises located right here in New Hampshire.  The Nashua Silver Knights and Seacoast Mavericks provide a family friendly and affordable experience for all ages.  Both cities have a deep history of business development and community support and we feel that these franchises provide a great social experience to the area.”

Public Service of New Hampshire has long supported economic development promotion in the state of New Hampshire and sees its participation as a logical extension of its business development efforts.

“We are absolutely committed to continuing to build a work class workforce and to getting involved in efforts that create a positive business atmosphere in New Hampshire,” Public Service of New Hampshire Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott said. “This isn’t simply a matter of getting young people out to a ballgame, it’s about showcasing New Hampshire’s entertainment offerings and building the connections that enrich communities for the long run.”

For more information about Stay Work Play, visit www.stayworkplay.org. For more information about the Nashua Silver Knights, visit www.nashuasilverknights.com and for more information about the Seacoast Mavericks, visit www.seacoastmavericks.com.

Ask CJ – Hiring Seasonal Employees

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Q: “I bought a seasonal business and I have hired employees for the first time.  What are the rules on summer/seasonal employees in regards to paying for overtime hours?”

A: When I was growing up, my dad worked in the sheet metal construction industry.  I became quite familiar with the labor laws as my dad would take advantage of any opportunities to work overtime as it meant he would be earning 1 ½ times his normal hourly wage for any time worked past his contracted 40 hour work week.  That meant a lot to a family with four kids and one wage earner.  He was also eligible for increased pay for working on holidays and took advantage of those occasional requests.  It would not have been the case if he had been working for a seasonal business.

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Specialist Christine Davis

Summer is in full swing and many businesses that sat dormant over those cold winter months are now alive and bustling with activity.  Seasonal businesses include everything from water parks to ice cream stands.  These businesses typically open up around Memorial Day and wrap up around Labor Day.  Seasonal businesses can, however, operate longer than that and abide by a different set of rules in regards to overtime pay.  Any business that fits the criteria of a “seasonal business” as defined by the Department of Labor does not have to pay overtime hours.  Those guidelines found in RSA 279:21 section VIII state:

VIII. Those employees covered by the introductory paragraph of this section, with the following exceptions, shall, in addition to their regular compensation, be paid at the rate of time and one-half for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in any one week:
(a) Any employee employed by an amusement, seasonal, or recreational establishment if:
(1) It does not operate for more than 7 months in any calendar year; or
(2) During the preceding calendar year, its average receipts for any 6 months of such year were not more than 33- 1/3 percent of its average receipts for the other 6 months of such year. In order to meet the requirements of this subparagraph, the establishment in the previous year shall have received at least 75 percent of its income within 6 months. The 6 months, however, need not be 6 consecutive months.

I spent some time digging around the NH Department of Labor’s website, www.labor.state.nh.us, and I was pretty impressed with how easy it was to navigate and find information about this and other labor-related questions.  I decided to refresh my memory about child labor laws as well since many businesses hire younger workers for seasonal businesses and many non-seasonal businesses need to hire additional help for the busy summer months.  I won’t go into the details about the laws that apply during the school year, but as far as summer goes, you can hire youth ages 16 and 17 with written parent or guardian permission.  Youth under age 16 will need a Youth Employment Certificate unless they are working for their parent, grandparents, or guardians or they are employed as farm labor.  I can’t help but laugh when I read that one.  I guess it is assumed that family and farmers won’t take advantage of the kids.  I know I wouldn’t . . .

A youth can also work without a certificate if they are performing “casual labor” which means no more than three calendar days for one employer.  Youth under the age of 16 can work up to 48 hours per week during the summer vacation time period which is defined as June 1st through Labor Day.  It should also be noted that, “No youth shall be employed or permitted to work in any hazardous occupation, except in an apprenticeship, vocational rehabilitation, or training program approved by the commissioner” (RSA 276-A;4).

Owning a seasonal business can be a great opportunity as it fills a need for the community and helps drive revenue.  Like any other business, there are guidelines and rules that need to be followed as a part of running your business.  Take the time to do it right and hopefully you will have a business that becomes an institution in your community.

Christine J. Davis works for the N.H. Division of Economic Development as a resource specialist serving businesses in Rockingham and Strafford counties. Her role is to provide the support needed for businesses so that they may remain viable and growing entities in the community. Ms. Davis lives in Exeter with her two daughters.  When not performing her work or parenting duties she likes to spend time outdoors and discovering news places and activities in the community with her girls.  She can be reached at Christine.davis@dred.state.nh.us.

Drink Skinny Margarita Mix Named July “Innovation Rocks!” Award Winner

Monday, July 18th, 2011

The New Hampshire Business Resource Center is raising its glass and toasting Drink Skinny Margarita Mix for being named the “Innovation Rocks!” award winner for the month of July.

Drink Skinny was cited for its use of all natural ingredients including a plant extract known as stevia, a natural sweetener that contains zero calories, zero carbohydrates and is 200-400 times sweeter than refined sugar. Drink Skinny also uses a small amount of agave nectar in its original flavor of Drink Skinny Margarita Mix – this sugary fluid secreted by plants is known to be slow releasing in the bloodstream and, as a result, has a relatively low glycemic impact.

Created by Steven and Christy Cegelski, Drink Skinny Margarita Mix is available in a number of local stores including the New Hampshire State Liquor and Wine Outlets, the Concord Cooperative Market, the New Hampshire Country Store in Chocorua and Peppercorn Natural Foods in Plymouth. It is also available via online orders at www.drink-skinny.com.

“During these hot summer vacation months, it’s nice to know that a New Hampshire-based company has created a product that is not only tasty but also healthy,” New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy said. “By utilizing all natural ingredients that are free of high fructose corn syrup, Drink Skinny has fashioned a mouth watering and calorie conscious success story.”

Greenerpalooza IV: Celebrating the Greening of the Granite State

Monday, July 11th, 2011

When Grammy-winners Alison Krauss and Union Station take the stage at Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion on Friday, August 5th,  bluegrass will meet green at Greenerpalooza. The fourth annual celebration of energy efficiency and green efforts in New Hampshire, Greenerpalooza is co-sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire and Citizens Bank in coordination with the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion and media sponsor New Hampshire Business Review.

This year's Greenerpalooza headliner Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas.

“Greenerpalooza shows why Greenopia ranked New Hampshire one of the ten greenest states in the nation,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Communications and Legislative Director Steve Boucher, citing the ranking of states that takes into account air and water quality, recycling rates, LEED buildings, green, per capital emissions and other factors. Boucher expects 5,000 to 6,000 fans at this year’s event. “Just as music brings people together to support worthy causes, Greenerpalooza brings together dozens of ‘green’ businesses from around the state in an eco-village on Meadowbrook’s midway. These businesses showcase ways residents can ‘go green’ by adopting more environmentally-friendly practices and by using green products and services produced right here in New Hampshire.”

Public Service of New Hampshire was a founding sponsor of the event. The state’s largest electric utility, PSNH has increased its share of renewable energy to include the highest percentage of any major utility in New England. According to Pat McDermott, PSNH’s Economic & Community Development Manager, “We see Greenerpalooza as a terrific way to build awareness of issues like recycling and making energy efficiency improvements. They’re simple, cost effective ways to make a big difference in protecting the environment. We’ve seen the impact at PSNH: Since 2003, our customers have reduced air emissions by more than 4.5 million tons by participating in PSNH’s portfolio of energy-efficiency programs. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 850,000 cars. Plus these programs have saved customers more than $1 billion.”

Co-sponsor Citizens Bank believes that encouraging sustainability fits in well with their corporate mission.

“At Citizens Bank, we believe a good bank takes seriously its commitment to the communities it serves, which is why we are honored to once again partner with the NH Division of Economic Development and PSNH to showcase eco-friendly initiatives at Greenerpalooza this summer,” said Citizens Bank President Joseph J. Carelli.

The Music and the Message
Boucher says Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion, which prides itself on being environmentally conscious, is the ideal venue for Greenerpalooza. Meadowbrook offers artists the option of producing completely green stage shows by using a biodiesel-fueled generator that’s capable of producing enough power for even the biggest national touring acts. The venue’s food service uses recyclable/compostible cups and plates made from corn, while the office uses recycled materials for as many office supplies as possible. Meadowbrook even reserves its first parking lot for attendees who carpool with at least four people per vehicle.

“What makes Meadowbrook unique is this beautiful location on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee,” explains Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion Marketing Director Chris Lockwood. “It gives us a real appreciation for the environment. That’s why incorporating green practices and technology just makes sense to us.”

Each year, Meadowbrook has booked international stars known for their environmental activism to play Greenerpalooza. Past acts have included Sheryl Crow and Colbie Caillat (2010), Jackson Browne and Shawn Colvin (2009), and Crosby, Stills and Nash (2008). This year’s headliner, Alison Krauss and Union Station, who released their acclaimed new record, “Paper Airplane,” in April, are long-time environmental advocates. Krauss, who has won 26 Grammy awards, is well-known for playing benefit concerts for environmental causes, including for the Natural Resources Defense Council in support of their work against mountaintop-removal coal mining, which has had a devastating effect on communities in Appalachia. The second stage act, the Adam Ezra Group, are also activists, contributing 25% of their touring to benefit causes in communities across the country and worldwide.

Tickets to Greenerpalooza, which includes entry into the eco-village, are available online at www.meadowbrook.net. To learn more about the latest happenings with Greenerpalooza, visit the Greenerpalooza IV Facebook page at www.facebook.com/greennh. A limited number of vendor slots for green businesses are still available for $200; please contact Dawn Escabi at dawn.escabi@dred.state.nh.us or 603-271-2591.

NH’s Business Recruitment Efforts Continue to Attract Attention

Monday, July 11th, 2011

A great Union Leader follow-up to last Friday’s Boston Globe article on New Hampshire’s efforts to attract Massachusetts companies:

Thanks, Boston Globe; NH couldn’t have pitched its business-friendly climate any better
New Hampshire Union Leader

No offense taken.

The Boston Globe’s characterization of a New Hampshire business recruiter as a thief and a poacher didn’t upset anyone on this side of the border and doesn’t take away from a key point of the article: New Hampshire is winning business and jobs from Massachusetts.

State Business Recruiter Michael Bergeron has garnered a lot of recent media attention for his persistence, determination and success in attracting companies to New Hampshire.

“I think they wish they had some of the advantages in Massachusetts that New Hampshire has,” Roy Duddy, interim director of the state’s Division of Economic Development, said Friday. As such, Duddy is business recruiter Michael Bergeron’s boss.

The Globe’s statement that Bergeron “even scraped the New Hampshire state seal off his Ford Fusion” stretched the truth, Duddy said.

Economic Development spokesman Steve Boucher said, “We don’t have the state decal on the recruiters’ cars because when you go out of state, you don’t want to spook the company owners, you don’t want to spook the employees of the company,” he said.

“It’s just a real common sense thing more than anything else,” he said.

Bergeron, in a telephone interview Friday, said he was interviewed by a Globe reporter about two weeks ago and was surprised by the front-page treatment the article received.

“They’re describing New Hampshire being proactive in making sales calls, which I think is a good thing,” he said.

Some Globe readers took the paper to task for its wording.

“The Globe seems intent on characterizing Bergeron as a ‘thief’ while suppressing the real issue of an unfriendly business environment in the Bay State. The politicians here speak from both sides of their mouths….” reader “rjkeefe” commented on the boston.com website.

Duddy said the state would take advantage of the momentary notoriety.

“We have a very small budget to do economic development,” he said. “We do very innovative and ingenious things to get the message out about the New Hampshire advantage, and this is just one of them we are going to use as well.”

Bergeron, enjoying a day off Friday with friends at Maine golf course, said he works with fellow recruiter Cindy Harrington and secretary Bonnie Quaile.

“There’s been a general uptick in interest in New Hampshire, I would say since probably late February,” he said. “Certainly more people are looking than last year.”

As for the state seal issue, Bergeron said, the job of removing it was done professionally before he ever crossed state lines.

“We have client confidentiality, so whatever state we are going into we honor the request for confidentiality,” he said.

NH’s Secret Salesman Luring Massachusetts Firms

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Check out this great article in today’s Boston Globe regarding our Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron and his stellar efforts in recruiting companies to New Hampshire:

NH’s Secret Salesman Luring Massachusetts Firms
by Jenn Ableson, Boston Globe

New Hampshire pays Michael Bergeron to be a full-time thief, sending him across the border in an unmarked black sedan to poach Massachusetts companies.

NH Division of Economic Development Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron welcomes a MA business owner who was taken by donated limousine by Capital City Limousine to the Big & Rich concert at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion as part of a business recruitment promotion.

To help keep his missions undercover, the business recruiter even scraped the New Hampshire state seal off his Ford Fusion. Equal parts real estate agent, financial adviser, and deal fixer, Bergeron has lured dozens of Massachusetts companies to the Granite State over the past few years with promises of lower tax bills, cheaper office and industrial space, and fewer regulations.
John Hancock Financial and Liberty Mutual Group are among the high-profile firms that recently moved significant parts of their operations over the state line – partially because of Bergeron’s pitches. And an increasing number of small and midsize firms are considering migrating as a way to reduce costs in uncertain economic times.

“New Hampshire has become an easier place to do business as Massachusetts has become more difficult,’’ said Bergeron, who works as a business development manager for the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development. “It’s a lower cost to do business here and you still have the availability of the skilled workforce in Massachusetts.’’

His PowerPoint presentations highlight what New Hampshire officials say is Massachusetts’ bad-business reputation. They cite expensive real estate, drawn-out permitting processes, and higher taxes.

There are no official statistics from Massachusetts or New Hampshire on the number of companies that have moved north. But Bergeron estimates that at least 5,000 new jobs have been created over the past five years as a result of Massachusetts businesses moving to his state.
Massachusetts officials and business leaders deny that a mass exodus is underway, although they acknowledge that New Hampshire’s aggressive recruitment tactics can’t be ignored.

The constant assault on Commonwealth companies is more irritating than ominous, said Greg Bialecki, Massachusetts’ housing and economic development secretary.

“They haven’t done any serious damage,’’ he said of New Hampshire’s efforts.

Nonetheless, Bialecki said, officials have tried to make the state more enticing to businesses. In recent years, for instance, Massachusetts has lowered its corporate tax rate, offered tax incentives and other funding, and streamlined the permitting process through its new permitting ombudsman and Permit Regulatory Office.

Massachusetts has historically had to fend off New Hampshire’s business recruitment campaigns, said Paul Guzzi, president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

“I used to kid that one of my major jobs as secretary of state of Massachusetts was to defend ourselves against New Hampshire,’’ said Guzzi, who held that position from 1975 to 1978. “But there are incredible assets in Massachusetts that no other state has,’’ he said, such as prestigious universities and cutting-edge research labs.

Still, the 45-minute ride from southern New Hampshire to Boston makes it easy to access those benefits without paying the price of being based in Massachusetts, according to Bernhard Mueggler, who runs Untha America, an industrial shredding company that moved last month from Newburyport to Hampton, N.H.

Mueggler expects that by relocating 15 miles he will cut his operational costs by 10 percent annually.

“We needed to grow, and this is the right place to do it,’’ said Mueggler, who hopes to nearly double his workforce to 12 over the next two years.

CCS Presentation Systems, which installs video-conferencing equipment and other electronic gear, initially hesitated about abandoning its Chelmsford headquarters because many of the company’s clients are based in Boston. But after Bergeron whisked CCS through his whirlwind pitch a year and a half ago, the company couldn’t say no.

CCS found a building that was twice as big as a property it was considering in Massachusetts, and a price that was $1 million less. Bergeron helped speed the permits and in June 2010, CCS moved its 20 employees to Nashua.

“It is amazing what you can get just going over the border,’’ said CCS vice president Chris Gamst. “It was a shock to me.’’

Bergeron came in handy months later when CCS applied for a $40,000 annual tax credit. In February, he drove 60 miles through a snowstorm back and forth between Concord and Nashua to get the required signatures.

And when CCS needed to hire more employees, the firm tapped into a New Hampshire program aimed at getting unemployed workers back on payrolls. It allows companies to try out employees for six weeks while they keep receiving unemployment checks.

CCS still has some connections to Massachusetts – a small satellite sales office in Woburn, and the company’s old telephone number.

“We have to pay extra for that,’’ said Cheryl Gamst, CCS president. “The one thing we couldn’t get in New Hampshire – a good phone number.’’

When revenues slumped during the recession, many Massachusetts businesses eliminated jobs, shut stores, and did away with benefits. Now, as executives adjust to the slow-growth reality of the new economy, they are searching for ways to reap long-term savings. For some, that means New Hampshire.

One Massachusetts small business owner said he is considering the move for his company and family. The owner, who asked to remain anonymous because his 11 employees are not aware of the potential change, ticked off a long list of New Hampshire pluses: no capital gains tax, no inventory tax, no personal income tax, better rents, no sales tax, no Internet tax.

“We love Massachusetts,’’ he said. “But it’s hard to ignore New Hampshire.’’

Bergeron, a former Boston real estate broker, said he is excited by interest from companies of any size. In the spring, Fidelity Investments disclosed plans to close its Marlborough office and move workers to Merrimack, N.H., and Smithfield, R.I. The financial services powerhouse has not said how many jobs will shift to New Hampshire, but Bergeron estimates it at nearly 600.

His skills as a salesman are especially important because of the threadbare $100,000 marketing budget New Hampshire sets aside for recruiting businesses. Massachusetts, meanwhile, spends about $600,000 a year on efforts to attract new companies and keep existing ones.

To compensate for the meager funding, Bergeron and other state officials tap into the generosity of local businesses that supply free limos, hotel rooms, and lunches to help court Massachusetts companies. In return, the New Hampshire firms get their logos on the state’s economic development website.

Two weeks ago, Bergeron arranged for a 2011 Cadillac – donated by Capital Limousine Service in Concord, N.H. – to pick up the vice president of operations of a Massachusetts energy company that is weighing a move to New Hampshire. They toured five sites in the southern part of the state and met for lunch with economic development officials in Salem. Bergeron launched into his signature PowerPoint presentation as they ate roast beef sandwiches, dill pickles, and chocolate chip cookies – paid for by private sponsors.

It was a more subdued gathering than the “Get Big and Rich in New Hampshire’’ event Bergeron planned two years ago. For that extravaganza, limos escorted several Massachusetts prospects to a concert by country music performers Big and Rich at The Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, N.H., which hosted the outing with funding from Public Service of New Hampshire. The executives got backstage access and downed shots of Crown Royal whiskey with band members, Bergeron said.

None of the businesses ending up moving, but Bergeron said frequent rejection goes with the job.
“If you have 20 leads, then that turns into five prospects, and then one company actually comes,’’ he said. “You never stop pitching.’’

Bialecki, Massachusetts’ housing and economic development secretary, said that for all their work to get Massachusetts businesses to pull up roots, New Hampshire officials actually do need companies to prosper south of the state line.

“They should be hoping for our continued success,’’ Bialecki said. “Because the better we do, the better they’ll do.”

UNH, NHBSR Launch Certificate in Corporate Sustainability

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

The professional Certificate in Corporate Sustainability was announced today by the University of New Hampshire and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR). The certificate program is directed toward mid-level and senior professionals seeking to increase knowledge and functional skills in the practices and principles of corporate sustainability.

UNH’s Whittemore School of Business & Economics and Sustainability Academy partner with NH Businesses for Social Responsibility to launch a new professional Certificate in Corporate Sustainability.

The Institute focuses on tools, techniques and solutions for implementing environmentally and socially responsible business practices. Topics taught will cover people, profit and planet — from triple bottom line financing and understanding how environmental trends affect the business world to employee and stakeholder engagement.

“The professional Certificate in Corporate Sustainability fills a gap that our members say has been missing for years,” says Kate Luczko, interim executive director of NHBSR. “And it reflects the fact that sustainability in business isn’t a trendy concept but an integral part of how companies do business today.”

The Certificate in Corporate Sustainability program launches with a three day Institute, which will be held October 4-6, 2011 at UNH’s Durham campus and led by UNH faculty, regional business leaders and a supportive cohort of peers. After completion of the Institute, students will conduct an independent, mentor-supported workplace project. The program offers continuing education credit for professionals.

Participants may register at www.nhbsr.org/certificate – space is limited. NHBSR members receive a 15% discount.

The Certificate in Corporate Sustainability is presented by Timberland, a business pioneer in sustainability.

“The Certificate will equip a new crop of business leaders with the tools they need to implement meaningful change in their organizations,” states Mark Newton, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Timberland. “The program not only provides these participants with CSR training and tools, but also supports them in translating their learning into action – a critical component to ensuring the success of the program and its goals.”

“We are excited to partner with NHBSR in providing businesses with the latest sustainability knowledge and tools,” says WSBE dean Dan Innis. “Both UNH and NHBSR are driving the growing green economy in New Hampshire. Green business makes sense both environmentally and economically, and it is important that business leaders understand how to apply sustainability concepts to their products and services.”

U.S. Department of Labor Awards NH a $675,000 Job Training Grant

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has announced that New Hampshire has won a $675,314 competitive On-the-Job (OJT) Training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.  The award, which will be administered by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, will support OJT programs that help unemployed workers gain new skills to find and retain employment.

Shaheen recently introduced legislation with U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) designed to expand OJT programs across the country.

“On-the-Job Training programs are a proven way to put people back to work,” said Shaheen, a member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  “By teaching unemployed workers new skills, these programs not only help people find new jobs, but they help companies in emerging industries find qualified employees.  Under the current system, On-the-Job Training programs are highly underutilized despite being highly effective.  I will continue to work for passage of my legislation so that more states are encouraged to implement these programs.”

Today’s OJT grant is in addition to an initial $972,474 award the state received from the Department of Labor on June 25, bringing New Hampshire’s total to $1,647,788.  New Hampshire was awarded the supplemental grant based on the success it has achieved in implementing the first award, and was one of only four states to receive a supplemental grant.

“The On-the-Job Training grant is great news for both job seekers looking for well-paying career opportunities as well as for New Hampshire employers who are looking for trained and skilled workers in every sector of our economy,” said George Bald, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development.  “The award also recognizes the strong partnerships that have been developed between employers, and economic and workforce development system partners.”

Bald said the previous OJT grant awarded to New Hampshire had already produced over 60 new on-the-job training opportunities for long-term unemployed job seekers throughout the state and he expected the new grant to produce 50 or more new opportunities.

OJT grants offer a method to jump start re-employment for dislocated workers experiencing prolonged unemployment, by enabling employers to create training and job opportunities for these individuals. Participants will be given a chance to “earn and learn,” as they develop applicable skills while earning a paycheck. Employers participating in these on-the-job training projects will receive partial reimbursement to offset the cost of training workers. The projects will help workers become proficient in needed skills more quickly, which will serve to encourage employers to hire workers sooner than perhaps initially planned, facilitating the private sector hiring of well-qualified individuals to contribute to their bottom line and spur economic recovery.