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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen’

General Services Administrator, Martha Johnson, meets with NH Businesses

Monday, January 30th, 2012

On Wednesday and Thursday, (1/25 & 1/26), New Hampshire Businesses had the opportunity to meet and speak with Martha Johnson, Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA).

Johnson heads this 12,000-employee federal agency, charged with providing administrative support to the entire federal government. Some examples of their responsibilities:

  • Manage 370 million square feet of workspace, providing working environments for 1.1 million federal workers
  • Provide credit card services for purchase, travel and fleet services
    • ~3,000,000 cards
    • ~ 100,000,000 transactions per year
    • $30 billion in expenditures
  • Operate a fleet of 214,000 vehicles
  • Federal Acquisition Service – purchasing goods & services for federal agencies
    • > $38 billion in FY ‘11

 On Wednesday, Johnson met with about a half-dozen veteran-owned businesses in Keene. The Thursday event, held at St. Anselm’s NH Institute of Politics in Manchester, drew ~30 businesses. Over an hour of the 90-minute session was devoted to Q&A, with most companies seeking insight into how to capture more business with the government.

In addition to Administrator Johnson, GSA was represented by Regional Administrator Robert Zarnetske and Regional Small Business Utilization Director Jerry Smith. Also attending were Amy Bassett from the US Small Business Administration, Scott Merrick representing Senator Shaheen’s office and Dave Pease of the NH Procurement Technical Assistance Program.

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.

Six Businesses Selected for Round Two of Green Launching Pad

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Last week, Governor John Lynch  joined U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and University of New Hampshire President Mark W. Huddleston in announcing the six businesses selected to participate in the second round of the Green Launching Pad.

green-launching-padGovernor Lynch spearheaded an effort to create the Green Launching Pad, a partnership between the state and the university established last year that is working to help innovative companies bring new products to market and create jobs. Last year, UNH faculty staff and students provided intensive support to five New Hampshire companies working to bring new, clean energy products to market.

The announcement was made at EnerTrac in Hudson, one of the five companies to participate in the first round of the Green Launching Pad.

“The first round of the Green Launching Pad has been a tremendous success, benefiting not only those companies that participated, but working to strengthen our state’s economy,” Governor Lynch said. “I am focused on making sure that we are growing the jobs and companies of the future right here in New Hampshire and the Green Launching Pad is just one way we are doing that. The ideas and the products that have been nurtured by the Green Launching Pad are helping create good jobs, and I am pleased that we are working together to help six more New Hampshire businesses.”

The Green Launching Pad is funded with $1.5 million of federal economic stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The Department of Energy is proud to be a partner in the Green Launching Pad program,” said Secretary Chu. “By helping New Hampshire’s clean energy businesses grow, we can strengthen our competitiveness and create the good jobs of the 21st century.”

About 50 businesses and entrepreneurs submitted applications seeking to take part in the Green Launching Pad. An advisory board selected six business teams that will be supported during an intensive summer business accelerator program based in the Seacoast and aligned with UNH.

“Our support of the Green Launching Pad demonstrates UNH working at its best with its local and national partners. One result, of course, is new jobs at innovative and growing companies. This work is also helping thousands of New Hampshire residents and businesses save money on their fuel bills,” President Huddleston said.

“And EnerTrac’s smart meters are helping fuel oil and propane companies to be more profitable while they also reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions. Creating and encouraging ventures like this is at the heart of our mission at UNH, and it is critical to helping our nation compete in an emerging green and global economy,” said President Huddleston.

Selected companies will be connected to business, science and engineering faculty to develop finance and marketing plans. The Green Launching Pad will also connect businesses with angel investors and private sector business mentors.

“Today’s Green Launching Pad announcement is yet another example of how the Recovery Act is making smart investments in New Hampshire businesses to create jobs, transition to clean energy, and keep America competitive in the global economy. I commend the University of New Hampshire for its ongoing efforts to help these innovative New Hampshire businesses and entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality,” said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who supported funding for the Green Launching Pad.

EnerTrac has been successful in developing a remote monitoring system to help fuel dealers improve both operational efficiency and reduce harmful emissions by more than 30 percent. The success of the company illustrates the mission behind the Green Launching Pad program, and serves as an example to other New Hampshire companies looking to enter the emerging green economy.

“We are delighted to have the Governor Lynch and Secretary Chu at this event to announce the GLP 2.0 winning companies. In the Green launching Pad, we continue to work hard towards providing an opportunity for students, faculty and others on college campuses across the state of New Hampshire to work with private industry to help strengthen the region’s economy and also help address environmental concerns,” said Ross Gittell, UNH professor and co-project director of the Green Launching Pad.

“The drivers of Green Launching Pad are the five ‘Es’ – Energy, Economy, Environment, Entrepreneurship and Education. In the Green Launching pad, we make sure that while we create and grow successful green ventures, we focus on each of these five ‘Es’ by developing and supporting inter-disciplinary teams of students, faculty researchers and entrepreneurs and connecting them with industry experts and state-level resources,” said Venky Venkatachalam, UNH professor and co-project director of the Green Launching Pad.

For more information about the Green Launching Pad, visit http://www.greenlaunchingpad.org/.

A brief description of the winning teams and their projects is attached:

SustainX Inc., Lebanon, NH

SustainX provides a new non-toxic technology for low-cost scalable energy storage. The company’s new technology enables efficient storage of renewable energy – such as wind and. The energy storage technology is modular and allows for siting anywhere, from low-scale to grid-scale storage. www.sustainx.com

Blue2Green LLC, Ashland, NH

Blue2green will promote hydroelectric power production by restoring dams to produce renewable energy and attracting investors to suitable dams and mill-restoration projects. The revitalization of hydroelectric power in small- to medium-sized former industrial mill towns can help produce renewable energy, create jobs and preserve community history. www.blue2greenllc.com.

Holase, Inc., Portsmouth, NH

Holase has developed self-contained, solar-powered LED traffic signal lights that are low-cost and easy to set up and operate. www.holase.com

New England Footwear LLC, Newmarket, NH

New England Footwear has developed a sustainable solution to footwear manufacturing and a way to revive shoe manufacturing in the region through new technologies that use organic materials, molds – instead of stitch and sew – and modular design to allow for easy replacement and re-use. www.newenglandfootwear.com

Therma-HEXX LLC, Exeter, NH

Therma-HEXX invented an invisible low-cost solar collector and heat exchanger with a diversity of potential applications. Applications include winter time melting of snow and ice off of roofs and summer time cooling pool side pavements while heating pools. www.therma-hexx.com

Walker-Wellington, LLC, Portsmouth, NH

Walker-Wellington of Portsmouth has developed a hydrokinetic turbine power generation system, which will capture and produce off-grid renewable energy for on-site use. Primary users will be municipal wastewater treatment facilities and drinking water delivery systems. www.walkerwellington.com.

Hypertherm Announces $35M Investment for New Heater Road Facility

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Hypertherm has announced that it expects construction costs for its new 156,000 SF Heater Road facility to top $35 million dollars. The company will award the first bids, overseen by Middlebury, Vermont-based Bread Loaf Construction, this week.  Construction for the building is expected to get underway by the end of the month, and will eventually contain over 150 advanced manufacturing production machines and create up to 500 new jobs.

hypertherm-operatorOn hearing the news about the new facility, Governor John Lynch stated that, “Hypertherm has a well deserved reputation for being a strong innovator on all fronts and great place to work. The owners are second to none in their commitment to their country, their community and to their employees. We will do everything we can to help Hypertherm succeed in their goals.”

Hypertherm, an employee owned company, is pursuing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification for the new facility and is taking other steps to make the facility a model of environmental sustainability as part of its core values.

“Hypertherm’s success is built on the effort of our associates and the resources available to us. We have a responsibility to treat the world respectfully and responsibly,” stated Barbara Couch, Hypertherm’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility.  “Leadership in community and environmental stewardship are core values at Hypertherm – a business model we hope others will follow.  Simply stated, businesses do well while doing good.”

The Heater Road facility is designed to accommodate Hypertherm’s growth in a number of areas. It will expand Hypertherm’s current manufacturing space and complete a host of customer focused needs including a meeting space, a showcase for Hypertherm products, two state-of-the-art training classrooms and an amphitheater. The space will allow for an integrated team – everything from engineering to production—under one roof. It will also include an Innovative Product Application Center (IPAC), a state-of-the-art lab to meet the needs of research and development, testing and prototyping, and a new data center. 

The focus on sustainability will lower costs and improve efficiency while being sensitive to the environment and larger community. For example, the LEED certification, monitored through an ongoing dashboard, requires vendors and materials to be acquired within a 500 miles radius of the project; the new lab will recycle water through filtration and heat capture instead of flushing 40,000 gallons of water a day, and the new machines will run at a lower level of power with increased production capacity.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen applauded Hypertherm’s efforts to focus on sustainability saying that “the company is committed to a set of core values that will help our country maintain its ability create products here at home and at the same time preserve the environment necessary to create those products.”

Once complete, the 156,000 square foot facility will provide full-time jobs for up to 500 New Hampshire and Vermont residents. The jobs will include research and development, engineering and marketing, CNC machining and assembly positions. Hypertherm will rely heavily on support from its partnerships with River Valley Community College and the federal and states government of New Hampshire and Vermont to provide a well trained workforce.

According to George Bald, Commissioner of New Hampshire’s Department of Resources & Economic Development, “Hypertherm has been an excellent partner in pursuing state policy goals to employ and train individuals in need of good paying jobs and in helping to refuel the stagnant economy.”

Hypertherm designs and manufactures advanced metal cutting systems for use in a variety of industries such as shipbuilding, manufacturing, and automotive repair. Its product line includes handheld and mechanized plasma and laser systems, consumables, as well as CNC motion and height controls and cutting software. Hypertherm systems are trusted for performance and reliability that results in increased productivity and profitability for tens of thousands of businesses. The New Hampshire based company’s reputation for metal cutting innovation dates back more than 40 years, to 1968, with Hypertherm’s invention of water injection plasma cutting. The company, consistently named one of the best places to work in America, has more than 1,000 associates along with operations and partner representation worldwide.

abi Innovation Hub – Relaunch 2.0 – Thinking Big!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Congrats to our friends and colleagues at the abi Innovation Hub on their recent relaunch – here’s a press release that gives the entire scoop on the kickoff event:

The abi Innovation Hub (abi Hub) held a relaunch event on March 31, 2011 to celebrate its’ new vision. About 70 people, who have some connection or interest in the world of start ups, attended the event. They were invited to self tour the abi Hub, a 15,000 square foot facility, while enjoying beverages and edibles. The abi Hub embraces a vibrant look with inspirational wall hangings of photos and quotes from innovators and entrepreneurs who have paved the way for all entrepreneurs. 

abi-hub-relaunch-lobby“The abi Hub is all about ideas, innovation and impact,” says Jamie Coughlin, vice president of strategic initiatives and entrepreneur in residence, “and we wanted our décor to reflect that view.” 

The event included a presentation kicked off by Coughlin, who clarified the mission of the abi Hub. “We’re here to nurture high growth startups and create an environment where entrepreneurs have access to the resources, connections, experience, and capital to support the journey of putting ideas into action. We want this to be a place that embraces all things entrepreneurial, a community of innovation.” 

The abi Hub, located in the Manchester Millyard, boasts 15,000 square feet of space. There are thirty-five full time offices ranging from 150 to 500 square feet. There are currently two units available for rent. In addition to traditional offices, there is co-working space. “We recognize that in today’s world many businesses launch from non-conventional spaces and we wanted to have options in place that would suit their needs,” said Coughlin, “and, it’s very affordable, starting at $100/month.” 

There are currently 20 full time businesses and fifteen co-working residents that call the abi Hub home. Whether full time or part time, all residents are embraced into the abi Hub entrepreneurial community. The abi Hub also has shared space, including private meeting rooms and a conference room that includes impressive audio/visual equipment that can be used by all members.  

Scott Merrick of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen's Office receives thanks from abi Innovation Hub Vice President of Operations Michele Petersen after he read a statement from Senator Shaheen.

Scott Merrick of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen's Office receives thanks from abi Innovation Hub Vice President of Operations Michele Petersen after he read a statement from Senator Shaheen.

Michele Petersen, vice president of operations followed Coughlin’s presentation. “As a result of the support by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, we’re fortunate to have received an SBA grant that serves two purposes. The first was to “tech up the place” which we’ve definitely done.  The second is to pursue a Soft Landing’s Designation, provided by the National Business Incubator Association.” This status says to the community that the abi Hub is a great place for an international company to land a business.” Although Senator Shaheen was unable to attend the relaunch event, she sent a written statement, which was read by Shaheen office staffer Scott Merrick. 

The presentation continued with representatives of two abi Hub resident companies highlighting their businesses. The first was Kent Murphy from Accreon, an information technology and business solutions company based out of New Brunswick, Canada, where they employ 100 people. Accreon has a 20 year history in the information technology and business solutions industry. They work with clients throughout the Maritime Provinces, Ontario and the United States, and have successfully established themselves as a leader in their industry. They look forward to replicating that same success here. Murphy expressed enthusiasm for the initiation of their first US office in Manchester and the good fortune of having discovered the abi Hub. To learn more about Accreon, visit www.accreon.com 

The second abi Hub resident speaker was Derek Hopkins, president & CEO of Liquid Health Labs, Inc. This company is part of the fastest growing category of the nutrition industry, the functional beverage market. The company has successfully introduced PowerCap to the market, a patented cap filled with nutritional supplements and additives that you infuse into consumable liquids. Hopkins demonstrated the product by removing a cap from a bottle of water, replacing it with the PowerCap, pushing down on the top and releasing the supplements into the water. The end result was an instantly enhanced beverage. For more information visit www.mypowercap.com.   

Bruce Wilson, president & CEO of Cellular Specialties, Inc. also took part in the presentation. Coughlin concluded by thanking event sponsors, which comprised the abi Hub board of directors, Matt Pierson and the Boston Beer Company, and asking all in attendance to consider how they might become involved. After the presentation, attendees continued touring, networking and enjoying the refreshments, with the exciting energy continuing late into the evening.

Congrats abi Innovation Hub!