Rochester, N.H., Cites Quality-of-Life Strategy to Attract and Retain Aerospace Workforce
Albany International, producer of the LEAP-X engine, notes the City of Rochester’s educated workers, high quality of life, and diverse housing options are critical to the company’s success.
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The suburban city of Rochester is home to leading-edge new technology sectors such as composite materials, medical devices, and aerospace equipment, including the next-generation LEAP-X engine. The engine components, as well as the 343,000-square-foot facility, are the result of a unique partnership between Albany Engineered Composites, a division of U.S. Albany International Corp., and Safran Engineered Composites, a division of the French firm Safran, a global leader in jet engines and aerospace components.
The company recognizes that attracting as well as retaining a large number of skilled employees is one of the many priorities in the site selection process. According to NH Business Review, “The demographic dilemma facing U.S. manufacturers is simple: as older workers retire, many of whom are in the baby-boom generation, the next generation of workers is unprepared, ill-trained, or uninterested in taking their place.”
Albany International CEO, Joe Morone, praised the City of Rochester for the educated workers, the high quality of life, and the diverse housing options, stating it “is critical to our success.” At the Rochester site, the roles of Albany and Safran employees are clearly defined, yet Morone pointed out there are no walls or floor markings to separate the two companies’ work areas: “This is one unified plant, with one unified work flow,” said Morone. “It’s one team, with one mission, with one set of objectives.”
This is appealing to the workforce of the future. New Hampshire is rated #1 State for Opportunity and #2 Best State to Live Overall by McKinsey & Company. Rochester, N.H., has hundreds of approved affordable living spaces connected by regional bus service to eight business parks and six commercial centers. Based upon approved housing construction as of July 2017, Rochester’s population will grow an estimated 7.2 percent by 2020. In response, Clark Brook Apartments by Anagnost Development has 144 apartments, pre-leasing for a September 2017 Grand Opening.
Business and industry point out the correlation between population growth and hiring. According to the U.S. Census, job-related relocation accounts for 19.4 percent of all moves. With affordable, attractive, and available housing options, stability and steady workforce is the result for generations of business to come.
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