Hundreds of jobs to be filled at BAE SystemsBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Sunday News Correspondent
November 05. 2017 12:03AM
NASHUA - The state's largest manufacturing employer is in the midst of a major hiring spree and also is investing $100 million into infrastructure improvements.
"This is a good time for us. The organization is pivoting," said Diana Martin, vice president of communications for BAE Systems' Electronic Systems, whose products include laser-guided rockets and electronic warfare systems for military aircraft.
By the end of the year, Electronic Systems will have hired about 1,200 new employees, with about 60 percent of those workers located in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. BAE Systems' Electronic Systems currently has 5,400 workers in southern New Hampshire, but is hoping to hire even more in 2018.
The company has two new highway billboards and 57 screens at Boston's Logan International Airport hoping to attract new talent. It is also looking into purchasing more advertising space at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, Martin said.
This year, Electronic Systems has hired engineers, manufacturers and technicians, including more than 300 interns.
"I will guess near the fourth quarter we will hire another 200 or 250 people," said Jeremy Tondreault, vice president of operations for BAE Systems' Electronic Systems.
The company has made a strong effort to reach out to the education community in an effort to hire, Tondreault said, and it has been a success.
Company officials expect the hiring trend to continue, with the potential for about 750 new workers to be hired in New Hampshire next year.
Currently, BAE Systems' Electronic Systems includes three locations in Nashua - on Canal Street, Spit Brook Road and Tara Boulevard - two in Merrimack and one in Hudson.
With more than 13,000 employees worldwide, the company's Electronic Combat Solutions division is headquartered in Nashua, and its Technology Solutions and Survivability, Targeting and Sensing Solutions divisions are also headquartered in New Hampshire.
Its six facilities in the Granite State include a combined 2.6 million square feet of space.
"One of the things that we are doing this year is either expanding or renovating about 200,000 square feet," Tondreault said of the New Hampshire facilities.
A total of 120,000 square feet of new space will be added to the Tara Boulevard site in Nashua and the Merrimack site on Continental Boulevard. Furthermore, about 80,000 square feet of office space will be converted into manufacturing space, Tondreault said.
"We are going to spend $100 million on upgrading mostly our manufacturing infrastructure over three years," he said, explaining that price tag includes renovations and new equipment. As technology innovators, Tondreault said BAE Systems must have the best technology available.
As the company expands its workforce and its footprint throughout New Hampshire, company leaders say every skill set is necessary to be successful.
BAE Systems' Electronic Systems recently partnered with Nashua Community College to spearhead a new microelectronics boot camp. The 10-week course teaches students basic military standards and assembly techniques for radio frequency and microwave electronic assemblies, and is designed to meet industry demands.
Upon graduation, students are guaranteed an interview at BAE Systems, and the participants are then prepared to begin entry level wire bonding positions.
"They are all valuable skills. We need to have them at every level," Martin said of the employees.
Although the company already hires college interns, it is now partnering with five area high schools to further expand its internship program, including Pinkerton Academy, Nashua High School South, Alvirne High School, Souhegan High School and Greater Lowell Technical High School in Massachusetts.
"The workforce that we have here is first-rate," said Tondreault, describing their work as a much higher-tech version of manufacturing.