Opportunities outlook: NH's growing industries for jobs

Several industries have the potential to grow and add jobs in New Hampshire



You know you need a job, but where are the best opportunities?

There are several industries with aggressive growth potential according to the 2016-2026 Projections by Industry and Occupation Report issued June 2018 by New Hampshire Employment Security.

Manufacturing is another industry with considerable potential, noted Phil Przybyszewski, Sector Partnership Initiative workforce solutions project director.

“There is a high number of retirees in this sector, so there are still job opportunities in manufacturing,” he said. “Most notable would be CNC machine tool operators and programmers that are projected to grow 16 percent over this 10-year span.”

The overall projection across all industries in New Hampshire is equally strong through 2026 with an expected 6 percent increase, or an additional 42,000 jobs.

SPI is a grant-funded, industry-led collaboration that addresses current workforce needs in five key sectors across New Hampshire. One of these sectors is hospitality, which the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association and the state projects to grow by 8 to 10 percent in the coming years.

According to NHLRA’s Amie Pariseau, who serves as sector partnership advisor, there are challenges to this growth that represent opportunities for today’s students.

“Constricting this growth is the lack of workers,” she said. “Tourism is up in the state so there is demand for new business such as hotels, but the challenge for people remains.”

Part of the challenge with hospitality is the stigma often associated with it.

“When you think of career pathways in the hospitality industry, you likely picture a chef in a restaurant or front desk agent in a hotel,” she said. “These careers are vital and often considered the epitome of an industry job, but there are overlooked and underutilized opportunities in hospitality that lead to a path of success as well.”

The hospitality industry, she said, is a broad category of fields within the service industry that includes hotels and resorts, restaurants, event planning, theme parks, marketing and sales, and more.

“Career pathways in hospitality reveal the ‘promote from within’ mindset and the increasing salaries that build with experience,” she said. “Your skills in math would be helpful in a restaurant to manage purchasing, watching inventory, and budgets. Your skills in graphic design can be utilized by a new hotel working on a brand campaign complete with logo and website design.”

According to Pariseau, those skills are just two examples.

“No matter your interest, there is almost certainly a place for you in the hospitality industry,” she said.

Construction and manufacturing, according to Stacey Kallelis, work-based learning coordinator at Salem High School, are two other strong industries with similar challenges.

“Construction and manufacturing are fields where we have industry interest, but not student interest,” she said. “We need to reach the parents to have them view them as viable career paths.”

“Not all construction or manufacturing jobs are ‘general labor’ type positions,” she said.

In construction, for example, she said there are multiple career pathways, such as project management and engineering. She said New Hampshire is home to many innovative companies in the manufacturing sector.

“There are some really interesting manufacturing companies right here in New Hampshire making products for aerospace, government contracts and more,” she added.

Frank Xydias of Milford High School & Applied Technology Center agrees and noted that high-tech companies like Oracle, Armi, and Deka have locations near the Merrimack River.

“It is a good time to live in New Hampshire when companies like Tesla are visiting Manchester Community College to interview and hire students in the Advanced Manufacturing Program,” he added.

New Hampshire was once known for “traditional manufacturing,” but Xydias said it is now “an epicenter for Smart/Advanced Manufacturing,” which includes robots, programmable logic controllers, mechatronics applications and more.

“A most recent news article published that BAE is expanding to Manchester and offering as many as 400 newly created careers, many of which fall within high-tech career offerings,” he said. “This is very promising for New Hampshire’s workforce and career outlook.”

Xydias said what is also promising is the level of investment by industry itself in creating employment opportunities that also include students. He cited Hitchiner as one example.

“Hitchiner partners with Milford High School & Applied Technology Center for job shadows, internships, externships, presenters for career day events and more,” he said. 

In April 2018, Hitchiner also announced a $50 million capital investment to support existing and new growth within the industry. At the college level, he said Hitchiner already partners with all seven community colleges as well as local colleges and universities.

In discussing the current job market across all sectors in the state, Al Lawrence, owner of Artisan Electric in Dover, said the need for “talented, young people” in the workforce has never been greater.

“The workforce is growing older in the state, and business owners like me are putting a lot of thought into how to attract young people,” he said. “In many of these sectors, including mine, we have access to the latest technologies, too, and many of us work directly with the public. Each day is a new experience, and that is very exciting.”

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