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Speaker to legislators: Job growth stems from technical advantage

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 16. 2012 10:27PM

CONCORD - A strong higher-education system is essential to the jobs of the future, Joseph G. Morone, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Albany International, told legislators Wednesday.

"To have a technology advantage you have to have talent and to have talent you have to have a strong university system," he said. 'It that's simple. You can try to make it more complicated than that but that's all it is.'

In today's global economy, it is having a technological advantage that creates jobs, he said.

'If you have a lead on talent, that is if you have succeeded in accumulating more talent than your competition, you will have more than a seven-year lead, that is it will take more than seven years assuming you fall asleep of dedicated effort by your competition to catch up,' he said, citing a Harvard study.

Albany International, a publicly traded firm based in Rochester, has 4,300 employees and $800 million a year in revenue. It has 18 plants in 12 different countries. It is building a new plant in Rochester that will eventually employ 500 making jet engine parts.

About 150 House and Senate members attended the annual update on the state university, at St. Paul Church.

The state's higher education system is a social compact, with shared responsibilities among students, educators and elected officials, University of New Hampshire President Mark W. Huddleston President said.

Speaking of the rising cost of college and indebtedness of graduates, Huddleston said, "I don't think colleges and universities are entirely blameless in the place that we've gotten ourselves to.

"One of the reasons I always talk about the kind of innovation we're trying to undertake at UNH is we have part of the responsibility to solve this problem too, to get our arms around the cost equation, but that's half of it.

"The other half is we can't simply have states and other public entities walk away from their share of the responsibilities either. When I talk about a social compact, I talk about us doing our part and the citizens of the state doing their part too,' Huddleston said.

He invited legislators to visit UNH. 'It really is a remarkable place. You should be proud of it,' he said.

UNH graduating senior Ashlee Cummings of Concord said her education in electrical education and experience at UNH's InterOperability Laboratory has secured her job with Cisco Systems.

She'll be moving to Research Triangle Park after graduation.

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