Taylor Caswell

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to outdoor recreation opportunities. But some recreation groups and business leaders say the state isn’t doing enough to boost the recreation industry. They’re supporting legislative efforts to create an Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development.

Christina Phillips / The Exchange

Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs, joined The Exchange to discuss the state's economy -- what's going well, including efforts to attract businesses and more young professionals to the state -- as well as areas for improvement, including affordable housing and attracting a more diverse workforce. 

Caswell also said a 10-year economic development strategy for the state is in the works. Here are key takeaways from the interview. 

Taylor Caswell, Commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs joins us. The state's economy is looking robust with unemployment the lowest in the region. But there's also a labor shortage, workforce development challenges, and high energy costs for businesses. We get Caswell's take on these issues -- and on what senate Democrats are proposing: freezing business tax cuts.

State of N.H.

Corporate subsidies are something of a taboo topic in New Hampshire. The state historically doesn’t offer them and, to hear most elected officials explain it, they wouldn’t even consider subsidies when courting new businesses. That was the case when Amazon was scouting potential sites for its new headquarters and 50,000 accompanying jobs.  

A group of education and economic development officials are discussing how to meet New Hampshire's workforce demands.

The group met in Bedford on Wednesday at a forum on the future of the state’s workforce. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Taylor Caswell, the commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs who attended the forum.

(Editor's note: this transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

NHPR Staff

Governor Sununu's pick to lead a lead a new state department dedicated to economic development had his day before the Executive Council today.

The Governor likes to describe the goal for this new department, which would oversee business development and travel and tourism, as being a "one stop shop" for folks doing business in New Hampshire.

That sounds simple, but it touches areas as diverse as education, housing, and labor policies, all of which can get complicated, as can the business-speak of Sununu's pick to spearhead development efforts, Taylor Caswell.

Governor Chris Sununu is nominating Taylor Caswell to be New Hampshire's first Commissioner of Business and Economic Affairs. The position was created in the new state budget.

Governor Sununu proposed the new commissioner-level job, to oversee what he says will be a revamp of state economic development efforts, and lawmakers bought into it from the start.In Taylor Caswell, Sununu is nominating someone with background in business development and as a bureaucrat.