Help Wanted: NH manufacturer looks to Vt. to fill jobs

LINCOLN, N.H. (WCAX) The hurricanes to our south, in both Florida and Texas, have left millions of people without power. And as they struggle to get their lives back on track, the storms have created opportunities, including for a manufacturing business in Lincoln, New Hampshire.

"We've got a lot of orders coming in," said Paul Pinkham of Burndy.

Burndy employs roughly 250 people in Lincoln and another 170 in nearby Littleton. But that's still not enough. They make connectors for power lines which are a hot commodity.

"The two hurricanes that we just went through have really increased that demand," Pinkham said. "One of the claims to fame for the Lincoln facility is to make the part that put people back on the grid and get their lives back in order."

With New Hampshire's unemployment rate below 3 percent, the company is having trouble filling the jobs.

"It's a good problem but it is not a good problem in a way," said Deb Allaire of Nesco Resource.

A job placement company out of Nashua is going out-of-state to recruit. They are working with unemployment offices in St. Johnsbury and are preparing to bus people in from as far away as Burlington.

"If you have a good attitude, a willingness to learn, they will hire you. Teach you how to read blueprints, operate machinery, learn how to use the measuring equipment," Allaire said.

This area is known for tourism. Business owners welcome the news that a local manufacturer is hiring.

"If they have to bus them in, bring them here to work, that is fine. That means there is more people coming to the area. It will improve the economy a little bit, so that is fine," said John Payne of Inn 32.

But they also say it's not surprising they can't find the skilled labor. According to the local chamber of commerce, it's a problem shared by business throughout the region. But with people in the dark down south, the lack of workers takes on added significance for this company.

"We take storm orders very seriously. They go ahead of everything else on the factory floor," Pinkham said.

And while the employment is just on a temporary basis at this time to meet that increased demand, company officials say there are full-time positions available, as well.

Anyone interested in getting more information on the job opportunities should contact Deb Allaire at Nesco Resource at 603-417-3000.