BAE Systems is boosting economic growth in New Hampshire
By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON Union Leader Correspondent
Last year, BAE Systems contributed $982 million to the state's economy, which included $1.4 million in charitable funds. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)
NASHUA — The state’s largest manufacturing employer announced this week that it contributed $982 million to New Hampshire’s economy in 2017.
“This is a very exciting time to be at BAE Systems, and in the aerospace and high-tech field where a lot of places are seeing growth,” Jeremy Tondreault, vice-president of operations at BAE Systems, said Monday.
BAE Systems’ $982 million impact to the local economy includes aggregate employee salaries, subcontracts and charitable donations. The total impact combines $842.5 million in payroll and benefits to more than 5,400 New Hampshire-based employees, $138.1 million awarded for subcontracts and purchase orders to 251 suppliers in the state — which includes $86.2 million to 190 small businesses — and $1.4 million in charitable funds.
“One of the things that is exciting for us as we are in a solid growth cycle in our business and hiring, is that as we ramp up what we need from our suppliers, there is more business for them as well,” Tondreault said.
As part of its $1.4 million in charitable contributions in 2017, more than half was donated directly by employees at BAE Systems. Included in the company’s donations in New Hampshire was $436,000 in financial support to higher education, high schools and STEM programs.
Tondreault said the skills needed by employees at BAE Systems are based around science, technology, engineering and math concepts. The company aims to motivate younger generations to seek careers in STEM fields as a way to grow its own workforce, he said, adding representatives visit local elementary and middle schools as BAE Systems sponsors the international competition FIRST LEGO League.
“As more kids get educated on how interesting and challenging STEM careers can be and how you can spend a whole career focused on solving very technical problems, people find it really exciting,” Tondreault said.
Last fall, BAE Systems announced that it is in the midst of a major hiring spree, and is also investing $100 million into various infrastructure improvements. In 2017, BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems hired about 1,000 new employees, with about 60 percent of those workers housed in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
“We think 2018 is going to be very similar to 2017,” Tondreault said.
In New Hampshire and Massachusetts there are currently more than 600 job openings in fields such as engineering, operations and manufacturing at BAE Systems.