Manufacturing company offers free engineer training

Hitchiner Manufacturing Vice President Brian Hoover leads U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., on a Friday tour of the company’s facility in Milford.

MILFORD – U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., toured the Hitchiner Manufacturing facility Friday, an aerospace technology company in the midst of an $84 million expansion.

“It’s exciting to be here,” Shaheen said. “New Hampshire has a growing aerospace and military manufacturing industry, and they are a leader in the field.”

Hitchiner is one of the companies turning around New Hampshire’s worker shortage, she said, through innovative training programs, as well as new health benefit plans to attract and keep employees.

The company is building a new, 90,000 square-foot foundry. At the time the foundry expansion was announced, Hitchiner CEO John Morrison III said it will allow the company to create up to 85 new jobs.

“The expansion will help ensure the future of our current operations in the state, and our continued contribution to the state and local economies,” he said.

Shaheen said New Hampshire continues to see young, skilled workers leaving the state. Hitchiner, in conjunction with Keene State College, offers a three-year engineering training program for employees. In some ways, this is equivalent to a four-year college degree.

The first batch of employees graduated the Manufacturing Engineering Certificate program this summer after completing 400 hours of classroom instruction. The free program is open to all Hitchiner employees, for free.

The expansion construction is expected to continue through next year, but work on the foundation has already started. Hitchiner began in 1946 and makes castings and other components for aerospace manufacturing, as well as automotive, medical, and other fields.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or or @Telegraph_DF.