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Archive for October, 2016

Are You Work Ready? WorkReady NH is Ready to Polish Your Skills

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Mark Laliberte

Becoming unemployed unleashes a series of emotions: Diminishing self-esteem; financial concerns and the perceived stigma of being unemployed. Sure, it’s a setback, but not for long. With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, New Hampshire is teeming with jobs that need to be filled.

So the question that needs to come at the end of one job should be “What do I do next?” This is where WorkReadyNH, which is paid through the NH Job Training Fund, comes in. This is a three-week course offered at the state’s community colleges, in partnership with NH Works, to help those looking for employment to improve their hard (traditional educational courses such as reading comprehension and math) and soft skills (how to interact with others, active listening, conflict resolution).

WorkReadyNH evaluates existing hard skills and helps people improve, via through online homework, while providing a comprehensive 60-hour classroom course to flesh out and enhance soft skills.

I popped into a WorkReady NH classroom recently, where Christina Wall, the program director for WorkReady NH at Great Bay Community College, arranged for me to go through the course on the day the class was receiving an assessment for reading comprehension and math abilities. Throughout the three week class, the students would learn tips to improve their marketability to potential employers and receive a National Career Readiness Certificate, which is a credential recognized industry-wide to show your strengths in certain subjects.

The first half of the class was about active listening and this is a vital skill employers seek in employees. Both a student and the teacher taught this section, and it generated a great deal of discussion. I used it to evaluate my skills in this area, and found ways I could be more engaged in my approach to conversations.

A subsquent assessment, WorkKeys, evaluated my aptitude in reading, math and research. This was challenging and the results indicated areas in which I can improve, like math. Who knew?

Participating in this WorkReady NH class was enlightening – it made me think how valuable this is to people moving forward from one job into another … and to employers who need the skills these folks now have.

To learn more, check out the WorkReady NH page.

Mark Laliberte
Business Resource Specialist/Seacoast Region
Division of Economic Development

Words of the Week in New Hampshire: Business Expansion

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

There were a couple of good news events this week, happening on both ends of the state.

Tuesday, our friends at Methuen Construction celebrated the opening of its new headquarters in Plaistow. Our Cynthia Harrington has worked with the company since it made the decision to relocate from Salem and expand its operations.


Gov. Hassan and Business Development Manager Cynthia Harrington joined dignitaries during the ribbon cutting at Methuen Construction.

In her remarks during the ribbon cutting, Harrington praised President and CEO Joe Barbone Jr.

“Today represents the start of a new era for your company, for the town of Plaistow and for the state of New Hampshire,” she said. “You are the visionary that was needed to transform and revitalize this property. As a result of that, we see a $10 million investment; 75 new jobs  in just a little over a year and over the next decade, we look forward to seeing another 250 jobs added — jobs that will bring more people, more spending and more growth to the area. Methuen Construction is a catalyst for economic activity and a good neighbor for Plaistow and the region.”

On Wednesday, in the North Country community of Groveton, NSA Industries of St. Johnsbury, Vt., announced its expansion to the former paper mill site, which went down more than a decade ago, taking over 400 jobs with it.

This is great news for Groveton, which has worked hard to turn the site into a location where businesses can locate, grow and expand.


Beno Lamontagne, left, and Michael Bergeron were involved with the expansion of NSA Industries into Groveton.

To start, the company will bring about 60 jobs into a 73,000-square-foot space. Company officials made the decision to move ahead with the expansion following a series of job fairs, after which they determined there was a skilled and enthusiastic work force available.

By any measure, that’s a pretty good week.

But rest on our laurels? No way.


Why New Hampshire?



Bergeron, right, talks with Bill Markman of Dallas-based Site Selection Group.

Michael Bergeron, senior business development manager, is just back from CoreNet Global in Philadelphia, where he met with corporate real estate professionals and site selectors to tell them about the benefits of doing business in New Hampshire.







Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development



Keeping Your Business Safe from Threats to Cyber Security

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Director Perry Plummer of New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; Commissioner Denis Goulet of the Department of Information Technology; Director Carmen Lorentz, Division of Economic Development

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month and that was the subject of this month’s New Hampshire Business Matters radio show on WTPL – 107.7 FM.

Tune in to NH Business Matters

Guests for the show were Director Perry Plummer of New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Commissioner Denis Goulet of the Department of Information Technology, who provided information and resources aimed at business owners and how they can keep their online presence safe and secure.

For more information about cyber security and the steps you can take to keep your business safe, visit the Department of Homeland Security.

Quebec Companies Learn About Benefits of Business Expansion to New Hampshire

Monday, October 10th, 2016

New Hampshire Economic Development at Montreal, 10/4/2016

The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development hosted more than two dozen representatives of Quebec-based businesses lastTuesday evening for a presentation in Montreal about the advantages of expanding their operations to the Granite State.

The dinner marked the first time in over four years the division has had funding to conduct a business recruitment event. In all, 27 executives from 19 companies representing aerospace and defense, transportation, IT, and other advanced manufacturing operations, attended.

“Quebec has always played a key role in New Hampshire’s economy, from our historic mills to our North Country,” said Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development. “The benefits for Canadian companies, especially manufacturers, to consider expansion to New Hampshire are significant. From our shared border, business friendly climate and skilled workforce, the Granite State is a very favorable location.”

The presentation, conducted primarily in French by business resource specialist Beno Lamontagne, included testimonials by Marie-Josee Vaillant, president of KHEOPS International in Colebrook, and Benoit Frappier, president of Ben-Mor in Hinsdale, who have expanded their Quebec-based businesses to New Hampshire in recent years.

As a result of the presentation, two companies plan to visit northern New Hampshire in the near future to learn more.

“Business recruitment efforts play an important role in economic development,” Rose said. “Companies expanding or relocating to the state create – jobs, complement existing manufacturers who need their suppliers nearby and diversify our economy. We’re pleased that our budget now includes funding to conduct this kind of activity outside of New Hampshire.”

The state’s lack of sales, income, use, estate, inventory and capital gains taxes; examples of available commercial and industrial real estate and quality of life were highlighted during the presentation.

The Division of Economic Development, part of the New Hampshire Department for Resources and Economic Development, is the single point of contact for New Hampshire businesses needing assistance and resources to grow and thrive, as well as for out-of-state companies looking to expand or relocate in the state. For more information, visit nheconomy.com.

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development