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Posts Tagged ‘advanced manufacturing’

New Hampshire’s Manufacturing Month Celebrates Key Sector, Economic Driver

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Manufacturing Month kicked off at NextPhase Medical Devices in Rochester.

New Hampshire’s celebration of  Manufacturing Month continues through October. Since manufacturing employs nearly 70,000 people in all corners of the state, accounts for over 12 percent of our gross state product, and is a key driver of our economy, it is appropriate to cheer our manufacturers and the very cool things they make here.

Tune into this month’s New Hampshire Business Matters for a look at manufacturing in the Granite State.

Ken Cail, WTPL-FM host, left; Zenaugi Brahim, NH MEP; Will Arvelo, Business and Economic Affairs

Manufacturing Month kicked off at Next Phase Medical Devices in Rochester and will conclude Nov. 2 with the 16th annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit (register here). Through the month, dozens of manufacturers are opening their doors to high school students, to show them what’s inside, what’s being made, what it is used for and the technology it takes to make the products.

On this month’s New Hampshire Business Matters radio show, our director, Will Arvelo, and guest Zenaugi Brahim, president of the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership, talked about all things manufacturing in the state – where the sector is, where it’s going and nurturing the pipeline of workers needed by manufacturers to continue growing and being competitive.


Inventor, Entrepreneur Dean Kamen Headlines 15th Annual Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit Oct. 27

Friday, September 29th, 2017

New Hampshire inventor and innovator Dean Kamen headlines the 15th annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit on Oct. 27, capping the state’s first-ever Manufacturing Month that celebrates one of the state’s key economic drivers.

Kamen launched BioFabUSA earlier this summer, which operates under the umbrella of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute. ARMI’s mission is to develop large-scale manufacturing of engineered tissues and organs to help injured soldiers with extensive injuries. Kamen will speak on Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute – Manufacturing the Future of Biofabrication.

Here is the agenda and registration link for the 15th annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit. Register today!

Dr. Phillip Singerman, associate director for Innovation and Industry Services, National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce, will speak on the topic Manufacturing Technologies for the Future: Industry 4.0, Manufacturing USA. Panel discussions, led by manufacturing leaders in the state, will address challenges and opportunities in the industry, such as workforce development and the state of manufacturing.

On the national Manufacturing Day on Oct. 6, EPTAM Plastics of Northfield will host an event to kick off New Hampshire Manufacturing Month. Throughout the month, manufacturers and community colleges across the state will welcome high school students through their doors so they can learn about the opportunities and career paths available to them.

The summit fills up quickly each year and organizers recommend those wanting to attend to sign-up early.

Gov. Sununu Announces the Winners of the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Seven schools, submitting eight videos, competed for the top prizes this year in the third annual What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? video contest.

Thank you to our sponsors, BAE Systems and Velcro Companies, and to the students, teachers and manufacturers who worked together to produce these topnotch videos.

The playlist of the videos follows Gov. Sununu’s announcement. Stay tuned and see all the very cool things the students learned about advanced manufacturing in New Hampshire.


Focus Groups Lay Foundation for Talent Attraction

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

The needs of employers in New Hampshire attended a talent attraction focus group with week.

Leaders from advanced manufacturing and high technology – two of the key industries driving New Hampshire’s economy – joined us this week for focus groups conducted by Development Counsellors International, which specializes in economic development and talent attraction and has been working with us on campaigns to highlight these industries to a national audience.

These in-depth discussions explored the challenges companies are having in finding employees; challenges our state is not alone in facing these days.

Anne Struthers and Carol Miller from our division organized the sessions and report robust discussion from the participants.

This information now lays the groundwork for creating a marketing campaign to retain and attract the workforce New Hampshire needs so that our companies increase their competitiveness, grow and prosper.

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development

Here’s to Our What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest Winners

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016



The students from Northampton School, who won the 2016 What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? video contest were feted by Commissioner Rose, Gov. Hassan and the Executive Council last week (watch here). What an enthusiastic group!

We had great participation this year; in all, 10 schools submitted 11 videos, which you can watch on the NHEconomy.com YouTube channel. Thanks to generous sponsorship from Hypertherm, BAE Systems and Velcro USA, we handed out $1,750 to the top three entries.

We are already planning the 2017 contest, so we’re putting out the word to parents, principals, teachers and manufacturers to become involved next year. It’s open to middle school students in New Hampshire.

If you’re interested, head over to our video contest page (we’re updating it, but the information is the same!) and use the handy-dandy form to let us know. We’ll work with teachers to partner with a local manufacturer and we’ll work with manufacturers to pair them with a team.

Teams can get started once the new school year begins in September; the deadline is Feb. 10. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development


UNH to Open Advanced Manufacturing Center Thanks to NH Company

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

(Thanks to our partners at the University of New Hampshire for sharing this great news! – Ed.)

The state’s manufacturing industry will get a boost in highly-skilled workers with hands-on experience when the University of New Hampshire opens the John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center this fall. The center is made possible through the generosity of Charlestown-based Whelen Engineering, which is honoring retiring president John Olson with a $5.3 million gift to the university.

Manufacturing is the largest economic sector in New Hampshire and to help keep it that way, the Olson Center will focus on three areas: High-precision machining, light materials and flexible electronics. The center will help bridge the skills gap in the nation’s $1.7 trillion manufacturing industry and serve as a home for academically derived technology incubators, next-generation manufacturing technologies and a cross-curricular approach to engineering and manufacturing concepts.

Olson graduated from UNH with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1957. Two years later, he began his career at Whelen, which also has a facility in Chester, Conn. He has been Whelen’s president since 1976 and oversaw the opening of the Charlestown facility in 1984. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

“Much of our growth and success has been due to the passion for excellence in engineering that John Olson has fostered within the company,” said George W. Whelen IV, owner of Whelen Engineering, Inc. “John made sure we always looked for a better way and used cutting-edge technology whenever we could. Since he opened the Whelen facility in Charlestown, he has made many connections with the engineering programs at his alma mater. Finding qualified and motivated employees is very important for any business but particularly for an engineering company.”

The center, planned for the former Goss International building on the west edge of campus, will introduce students to innovative manufacturing technologies and allow visualization of manufacturing concepts to complement the skills learned in traditional classroom settings. It will serve as a pipeline for trained, skilled workers who will be able to successfully step into the state’s manufacturing sector with practical knowledge and experience.

Whelen Engineering designs and manufactures high-quality audio and visual warning equipment for the automotive, aviation and mass notification industries around the world. Between its two plants, the company employs more than 1,500 people and is the only maker of emergency warning and lighting equipment to manufacture its products in the U.S.

For the university, the new center will be a boon to its engineering and science programs, as well as other departments.

“We are absolutely delighted with the opportunity that George Whelen IV and Whelen Engineering are affording our students, faculty and the state,” said Sam Mukasa, dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. “Manufacturers and various other engineering firms around the state speak of our engineering graduates as smart and well trained, and the Olson Center will give students the very important third piece of their education: practical experience. The center will also foster development of some research projects between faculty and colleagues in the private sector, thereby having an enormous positive impact on the state’s economy.”

One of the largest gifts in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences’ history, this latest donation builds on the history of philanthropy that Whelen Engineering and John Olson have built at UNH. More than $2.5 million has been donated for scholarships and to support UNH’s Tech Camp for students in grades 6 through 12. In 2007, Whelen Engineering donated an outdoor mass-notification system to the Durham campus to be used during emergencies. Whelen’s mass notification systems became required at all nuclear power plants in the wake of the Three-Mile Island disaster, and the country of Denmark purchased the system, installing it at more than 1,200 sites around the country.

For Olson, having his career recognized in this way by the Whelen family is an honor.

“It pleases me to see that UNH students are now going to have a manufacturing facility where they can tinker and innovate the manufacturing of tomorrow,” he said. “I have stated many times that manufacturing was central to our ability to win two world wars. We now have tremendous competition from overseas in manufacturing, and owe it to the next generation to prepare them well to hold their own and keep this country strong. Staying ahead of the competition in innovation and efficiency will be key. I think that UNH students can do that.”

What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? This Video Contest for Starters

Friday, December 11th, 2015


The call to middle school students across New Hampshire to enter the second annual What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? video contest is being answered. Video crews are fanning out to local manufacturers for a look inside at the cool things that come out of their plants.

Groveton Middle School students at Pak2000 in Lancaster.

We tagged along with students from Josh Smith’s technology class in Groveton the other day when they went inside Pak2000 in Lancaster to learn about the company and what it does. It produces plastic bags – 7 million a month – for stores we shop at every day and it has an impressive process involving printing presses, ink (lots of ink) and creativity to design them.

“The kids loved it and really got into it,” Josh reported when he and his students returned to school. “We were there until 1:30, interviewing and learning. It was great to see the kids go beyond the video contest and take an genuine interest in manufacturing. They kept asking questions and capturing footage.  When we debriefed after the site visit the students were excited to represent those they interviewed.  They are hoping to put together a great video.”

It’s not too late to enter! Students don’t have to be Scorsese or Speilberg; no fancy equipment is required.

Manufacturing is our largest industry, offering well-paying jobs and opportunities to grow and succeed. Our manufacturers are on the grow and want to get this message out to young people.

If you are the parent of a middle school students or a middle school teach, let’s talk. We can match you up with a local manufacturer and your team will vie for a top prize of $1,ooo for your school (thanks to generous sponsorship from Hypertherm, Velcro USA and BAE Systems).

For information, visit our website or give me a call.

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development



Free Tuition. That’s right. Tuition Free.

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Today’s blog comes to you from our friends at AMPed NH.

Innovation’s been the name of the game where the New Hampshire community colleges’ AMPed NH is concerned. And now AMPed NH is taking innovation in workforce development to a whole new level. It’s offering tuition-free courses and myriad academic and professional support services to as many as 2,000 new students who enroll in a core advanced manufacturing certificate program.

The Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships in Education is an initiative of New Hampshire’s seven community colleges, advanced manufacturers, state agencies and others formed to increase the highly skilled workforce through targeted training and education programs. It is funded by a $20 million TAACCCT grant from the U.S. DOL Employment and Training Administration.

AMPed NH is offering tuition-free courses to 2,000 students enrolling in a core advanced manufacturing certificate program.

AMPed NH is offering tuition-free courses to 2,000 students enrolling in a core advanced manufacturing certificate program.

AMPed NH has developed dozens of industry driven and approved training and education programs that directly meet the high-tech needs of New Hampshire’s advanced manufacturers. Its approach mirrors that of the industry itself: Lean. Clean. Precise. Smart. Students are taught the exact science, technology, math and engineering skills identified by manufacturers as necessary for success. In the colleges’ updated labs, students use state-of-the-art virtual machines before advancing into work with the same types of cutting-edge equipment used on professional design and production floors. The goal: A seamless transition from classroom to career.

Sector-specific certificate and associate degree programs build skills in concentrations such as mechatronics and automation/robotics, advanced composites manufacturing, engineering technology, advanced machine tool technologies, electronics and electromechanics and advanced welding, and satisfy the very specific skill-set needs of those sectors.  But the community colleges also identified a common thread in the concerns expressed by NH’s manufacturers; a gap had developed in a core set of universal advanced manufacturing skills as technology advanced faster than the competencies of the workforce.

The innovative solution? Develop a core-curriculum certificate program to build the highly skilled workforce, then strip away the major barriers faced by students and job seekers considering enrollment.

With that, the Applied Career Fundamentals for Advanced Manufacturing Certificate was designed to prepare students for successful entry into the advanced manufacturing industry.

“The Applied Career Fundamentals for Advanced Manufacturing Certificate, and the decision by the community colleges to offer courses tuition-free for a limited time accelerates the enhancement of the pipeline,” said Ross Gittell, chancellor of NH’s community colleges. “This approach — which represents another innovation designed to bolster the NH economy— should generate interest statewide.”

Based on government competency models and industry feedback, the certificate program builds skills in science, math, composition, communication, business fundamentals and computer skills. Students will also select two manufacturing elective courses to round out the requirements. Credit awarded in the program will be fully transferrable between New Hampshire’s community colleges and may later be counted toward associate degree requirements.

Top concerns for job seekers and prospective students include cost, accessibility and fear of the technical nature of the program. To address these, classes within the advanced manufacturing core are available in online, traditional classroom and hybrid formats. Twenty-four-hour online academic support and networking resources are available through AMPedNH Connect and, finally, the colleges are solving the cost issue by offering one course per new student tuition-free for a limited time.

By offering the first course within the advanced manufacturing core tuition-free to up to 2,000 students systemwide, AMPed NH aims to accelerate the growth of the pipeline of highly-skilled advanced manufacturing workers in the state and throughout New England.

“This initiative should help to level the playing field for those who are interested in entering advanced manufacturing but who feel they do not know where the entry point is,” said Will Arvelo, president of Great Bay Community College and administrator for the TAACCCT grant. “We hope many will take advantage of getting on this path that will lead to well-paying jobs in New Hampshire.”

To learn more about the certificate program and how to enroll, contact the admissions office at your local New Hampshire community college. To learn more about AMPed NH and its full complement of training and education programs, visit www.ampednh.com.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development