By Alex Lippa
---- — SALEM — Governor-elect Maggie Hassan made one of her first appearances in the region since being elected in November as she visited Corfin Industries on Raymond Avenue yesterday afternoon.
The appearance was part of Hassan’s “Innovate New Hampshire Tour,” in which she visits businesses to gather ideas about how to keep the state moving forward.
Corfin Managing Director Donald Tyler lead Hassan on the tour, showing her how the company manufactures defense materials to provide to companies like Raytheon. Hassan was particularly keyed in on how Corfin trains its approximately 90 employees. Tyler explained how Corfin offers tuition reimbursement and provides on-the-job training to further educate their employees.
“One of the things we are trying to focus on with the innovation plan is a skilled workforce,” Hassan said. “We are here to fill gaps because some employers have a tough time finding people.”
Hassan connected with Corfin through the department of resources and economic development. She has been visiting several manufacturing businesses throughout the state over the last few days.
“We have been listening to find out what kind of challenges they have and what kind of advantages they have,” Hassan said. “We want to make sure that we are fostering strategic relationships with businesses.”
Hassan started her day at Hypertherm, a metal cutting manufacturer in Lebanon. She then went to Claremont, where she participated in a roundtable meeting at River Valley Community College and went to the machine laboratory at Keene State before ending her day at Corfin.
Corfin not only provides materials to defense companies, but they also provide services to medical and telecommunications companies.
One of their main services is preventing tin whiskers, which can be responsible for failures in pacemakers, satellites and nuclear power plants.
Tyler said his employees were thrilled to have an end of week visit from the governor-elect.
“It’s nice to have a little recognition that what we are doing is important,” he said. “We’re an example of the growth in New Hampshire.”
More importantly, he believes Hassan’s innovation plans will be able to continue to further develop the company.
“We have taken a lot of advantage of what the state has offered to help manufacturing companies,” he said. “Especially over the last few years, it has been a big help for us. We are looking forward to that continued resource.”
After taking her tour, Hassan was impressed with all of the features which Corfin had to offer.
“This is a really highly innovative company that is reacting to market conditions and is making sure that quality and service comes together to give exceptional value to customers.”
The stop in Salem was one of Hassan’s last appearances as she gets ready for her inauguration as governor on Jan. 3.