April 24, 2020

For more information please contact:
Zenagui Brahim
President, NH MEP

Local Manufacturing Companies Work with Franklin High School to Offer Student Opportunities

CONCORD, NH – Toward the close of 2019, Franklin High School was looking for a way to introduce their students to opportunities in manufacturing and reached out to the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NH MEP) for assistance in their efforts. NH MEP is a manufacturing sector advisor for the NH Sector Partnership Initiative (SPI) – a state program which cultivates workforce development in the five primary sectors – Construction, Health Care, Hospitality, Manufacturing and Technology.

Zenagui Brahim, President of NH MEP, and Jo Brown, Franklin City Counselor, coordinated with Eptam Plastics, PCC Structurals, Inc., Sealite/Avlite, Vitex Extrusion and Watts Water Technologies to present their innovative technologies during a three-day Manufacturing event at the school. Looking to the next generation to build their workforces, manufacturers took the first step in giving students the opportunity to sign up for tours at their facilities and potentially get placed in internships or entry-level jobs.

“The students of Franklin High School have shown excitement to learn more about manufacturing careers. The participating manufacturers look forward to having these students visit their site and hopefully be part of their workforce. We thank Mayor Tony Giunta and the members of the city council for joining us at the Manufacturing Night Event. We thank Superintendent Daniel LeGallo and Carrie Charette, High School Principal for their support and guidance in this initiative”, said Zenagui Brahim.

Here’s a look at what these vital manufacturers do and what they presented to Franklin students.

Sealite/Avlite is a global manufacturer of navigational aids for the marine and aviation industries and the parent company of Avlite which produces LED airfield and approach lighting. Avlite presented specific lighting and buoy products and emphasized their products’ global impact.

“I’m proud that what I do has a major impact on others around the world,” said Codi LaBrecque, Roto Team Lead. “Our buoys in Africa have helped tourism and commerce, bringing jobs and growing the

local economies.” Mike Brace, Assembly Team Lead, also expressed enthusiasm to students about his role with Avlite. “To think that the products I put together have helped combat terrorism is awesome!”

Eptam Plastics is a leader in solving the most difficult challenges in plastic component manufacturing and CNC machining. EPTAM is now a single-source point of contact for precision manufacturing solutions in both plastics and metals with operations in New Hampshire, Colorado and New Jersey. The company serves leaders in the medical, semiconductor, and aerospace/defense industries to provide advanced solutions for emerging commercial technologies.

Russ Nadeau, Chief Operating Officer, explained their specialization in automated inspection and precision machining, with metal-to-plastic conversions, material design support, and design for manufacturability with FMEA practice. 

Watts Water Technologies is parent to a family of companies that design, manufacture and commercialize high-quality, innovative products and solutions that promote the comfort and safety of people and the quality, conservation and control of water used in commercial, residential, industrial and municipal applications. They serve as a long-term partner for installers, specifiers, distributors and OEM customers.

Mike Mullavey, Technical Advisor, quoted his former high school machine shop teacher that he says always stuck with him: “It’s nice to reach into your pocket and find something more than a nickel”. They also noted how great it is to see products installed around the world that were proudly made in their town (Franklin, NH).

Vitex Extrusions, now part of NSA Industries, LLC, operates 24/7 and provides aluminum design support and prototyping, custom aluminum extrusions, aluminum fabrication, CNC machining and tooling for multiple applications in lighting, solar energy and automobile accessories.

Micah Shaw, Value-Added Production Manager of Vitex’s Fabrication Department, showed students an example of an auto crossbar they manufacture. “Vitex turns out a variety of shapes under the global brand Thule for Mazda, Honda, Nissan, Cadillac and other vehicles in accordance with their roof rack system.” He proceeded to give accolades to Joe and his crew for their role in the remarkable performance of the extrusion press shown in the video. “For three years running, it was the highest producing press of its size in all of North America…so that’s a pretty big deal for a small town in this area,” Micah explained.

PCC Structurals supplies Investment Castings, Forgings, and Airframe products from numerous facilities around the world. Their two locations in Tilton and Franklin, NH, specialize in complex air and vacuum aluminum investment cast components. 97% of their market is aerospace, supporting military & commercial aerospace customers, as well as energy & medical applications. 

Amanda Volpe, General Manager of PCC Structurals Tilton, held up a finished cylindrical fan housing for display. “PCC makes over 600 parts in their New Hampshire locations alone – parts that can be as small as a penny up to the size of a missile tube.” After several days of processing, a number of really skilled people do all the machining, welding, and inspecting of the product. “We’ve got parts on the F-18, 737, the Apache helicopter – pretty much anything that flies has a part made here in Franklin.”

Next Steps

Students gathered around company booths and spoke with representatives after the presentation. “We’re trying to give all high school students an opportunity to learn about the ‘cool stuff’ made here in NH,” Brahim noted. The event successfully motivated students to sign up for a visit to the company of their choice to learn more about it and the available job opportunities and internships. Due to COVID-19, some of these tours were postponed, but manufacturers are looking forward to meeting with students when schools reopen.

Manufacturers and Educators – Learn more about the NH Sector Partnerships Initiative and Manufacturing Month

COVID-19 Resources for Manufacturers


About NH MEP

New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership
172 Pembroke Road
Concord, NH  03301

Phone: 603-226-3200

The New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, disability, age, political affiliation or belief. This nondiscrimination policy encompasses the operation of all educational and training programs and activities. It also encompasses the employment of personnel and contracting for goods and services.

Press Releases

NH MEP Welcomes New Center Director, Tony Fernandez

WELCOME Tony Fernandez, new Center Director/President at NH MEP!

Grant for NH manufacturers seeks to strengthen domestic supply chain

A federal grant of $400,000 is directed to New Hampshire manufacturers to help them build a supply chain that relies more on local and national suppliers and less on foreigners companies. The grant will be administered by the NH Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NHMEP), a nonprofit organization with a mandate “to work with small and medium-sized manufacturers that need assistance in any way. The purpose behind that is to keep businesses here and to keep jobs in the United States.”

Greater Rochester Manufacturers Discuss Workforce Challenges and Seek Solutions from the State

For more information please contact: Cara Tracy, Marketing Manager at carat@nhmep.orgBy Cara Tracy, NH MEP | May 17, 2022 | Updated May 26, 2022 Rochester, NH – On two occasions this month, May 16 and May 25, Rochester’s Mayor, Paul Callaghan, welcomed and facilitated...

Building the Pipeline: A Discussion on the Manufacturing Workforce in the Monadnock Region

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, March 15, 2022 For more information please contact: Zenagui Brahim President Keene, NH – On Tuesday, March 15, NH MEP President, Zenagui Brahim helped facilitate discussion among Keene area manufacturers. The event...

Key Takeaways from the 19th Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit

The 19th Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit was held virtually on Friday, October 22 with 156 attendees. Mike Mastergeorge, VP of Brazonics, opened the event and introduced Governor Chris Sununu’s video address highlighting the importance of the manufacturing sector to New Hampshire’s economy.