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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff90090001Manufacturing jobs were once the cornerstone of the New Hampshire economy, and in turn, the state’s middle class. The assembly lines and factory floors gave workers with limited education—but a willingness to work—an opportunity to earn a liveable wage.But innovation, automation and international trade have erased many of these jobs during the past few decades. While the state still produces $8 billion worth of goods each year, it does so with far fewer people. For Granite Staters with no college degree or advanced training, the promise of decent pay for hard work is fading.For NHPR's three-part series On the Line: Manufacturing in New Hampshire, reporter Todd Bookman explores what’s been lost, would could be regained, and what leaders in the manufacturing sector want to see from their elected officials.

Hitchiner Announces Expansion Plans, New Jobs

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Courtesy of Hitchiner Manufacturing
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A Milford-based manufacturer says it will break ground on a new 85,000-square foot plant this summer.

Hitchiner Manufacturing casts parts for the aerospace, defense and automotive industries. It announced Thursday it will build a new $50 million facility on its Elm Street campus.

Company officials say the expansion wouldn’t have been possible without the support of local and state officials.

“The company looks forward to working along with state and local government to continue to improve New Hampshire’s business environment in order to ensure a strong economy for current and future generations,” said CEO John Morison.

Earlier this year, voters in Milford approved a warrant article that gives a five-year property tax discount for industrial companies that build or renovate facilities in town.

Hitchiner currently employs approximately 675 people in Milford, and expects to add 85 workers in the new facility. The company, which also operates a plant in Mexico and an office in France, says it still needs to secure financing as well as permits for the project.

Governor Chris Sununu as well as other state officials were on hand for the announcement.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Hitchiner operates a plant in France. The company has an office in France.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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