From biotech to education, Manchester, New Hampshire, is expanding innovation.
From a booming biotechnology industry to a cutting-edge creative scene, Manchester boasts a robust economy with opportunities for professionals looking to launch or grow their careers. The low taxes — there’s no income or sales tax — means those who live and work in the region can stretch their dollars further, too. Plus, the Merrimack Valley region that Manchester is a part of shares a southern border with Massachusetts and is close to a number of East Coast hubs.
Ahead, five industries that are poised for growth in Manchester’s already thriving economy.
Manchester is in the midst of creating a specialized ecosystem around a technology that’s known as “biofabrication,” which is the ability to develop medical therapies from living cells, tissues and organs. The federal government recently granted Manchester a $44 million “Build Back Better” grant to revolutionize this health care sector and create thousands of high-paying jobs for residents, regardless of their current level of education or training.
With the manufacturing base in biofabrication growing, officials estimate that the industry will create 7,000 direct jobs and 37,250 total jobs across Southern New Hampshire within the next seven years. A large share of the jobs will be for non-degreed biofabrication and quality technicians.
“We love encouraging people who are passionate about a career in biotech to come to Manchester because this is going to be the epicenter of biofabrication,” says Stefany Shaheen, chief strategy officer at BioFabUSA. “And the biofabrication industry, fueled by regenerative manufacturing, will transform health care and the way we treat, care for and ultimately cure disease.”
Manchester is the arts and cultural heartbeat of New Hampshire, with plenty of opportunities for budding creatives.
The New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts, for instance, is partnering with higher education institutions, including the Institute of Art & Design at New England College and Southern New Hampshire University, to produce augmented reality (AR) exhibitions through an app, giving art students and recent alums a chance to showcase their work. Developers created digital 3-D models of artists’ original works for the AR gallery.
“The AR initiative will provide new career artists the exposure required to further support their creative practices and abilities to earn a living from their craft,” says Tricia Soule, executive director of the NHBCA.
Funded by a $40,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the “AR+ art: Elevating Artists in Augmented Reality Initiative” complements Manchester’s established creative scene, which includes performances at the historic Palace Theatre and exhibits at the Currier Museum of Art, the Millyard Museum and the SEE ScienceCenter.
Hospitality and Tourism
New Hampshire’s thriving tourism industry employs more than 65,000 travel and hospitality professionals across roughly 4,500 businesses. Specifically, in the Merrimack Valley, annual tourism is a nearly $2 billion industry, and Manchester is the largest convention, sports, entertainment and arts and cultural destination within the state.
Located in the heart of New England, Manchester is an ideal base camp as it’s within an hour’s drive of Boston and the Atlantic Ocean and less than two hours from New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lake Winnipesaukee. For those interested in hospitality, Doubletree by Hilton is one of the city’s top employers; plus, as the Millyards go through an exciting renaissance, restaurants are hiring.
For winter sports lovers, the McIntyre Ski Area is considered southern New Hampshire’s gateway to winter adventure and is also among the city’s top employers. With 11 trails and two chairlifts, the ski spot has a large area for beginners with 150 ski and snowboard instructors on staff.
Not only are Manchester schools among the region’s top employers, but Southern New Hampshire University is helping to prepare the next generation of teachers and academic leaders with a number of program options. Also, Manchester is a pioneer in competency-based education, with Manchester Proud providing the framework for student-centered learning focused on equity. Personalized learning plans recognize students’ strengths.
There are several collaborative public-private initiatives working to address evolving workforce dynamics, says Steve Thiel, assistant vice president of community impact at the private nonprofit university. For example, the City of Manchester devoted $3 million to SNHU, Manchester Community College, and Duet to create debt-free college opportunities for public high school students who completed their K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s exciting to see so many institutions finding ways to partner together to build a resilient education landscape for residents of all backgrounds,” Thiel says.
When it comes to job growth in high-tech fields, New Hampshire is leading the way. New Hampshire tech jobs grew 4.2 percent in 2018, making it No. 2 in the country for growth on a percentage change basis, according to the New Hampshire Tech Alliance.
In Southern New Hampshire, the Manchester Millyards is helping fuel the tech sector. Once a textile mill, the complex is now an innovation hub with a nice mix of Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and rapidly growing companies. Tech companies like Oracle also provide many high-paying jobs for the Merrimack Valley region.
Some leading tech industries that are growing in the state include tech manufacturing, IT services, research and development, telecommunications and software.
This article was sponsored by Manchester Economic Development Office.