Cleared veterans looking for jobs in defense and aerospace may want to give New Hampshire a second look.  It’s a small state with only 10 counties, and for that, it may not be on your radar.  But it has more than 560 companies related to those two sectors, and already receives billions in Department of Defense and Homeland Security contracts.  This month, the state’s cleared job prospects got even better with the launch of a new initiative to boost its influence around the world.

The New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium

The state’s aerospace and defense sectors are already distinctive.  Collectively, they contribute almost four percent of the state’s gross domestic product. That’s higher than most other states. So are the industry’s wages, now the fifth highest in the nation, with a $653 million payroll.

But the state is now moving outside its own borders; way outside. The newly created New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium is unlike most other defense-related consortiums because it is global-export driven.  It is designed to provide programs and technical assistance to companies and manufacturers based in New Hampshire, and leverage their shared connections and resources to expand sales to global markets.

“Aerospace and defense are among the fastest growing industries in New Hampshire,” said Dawn Wivell, consortium program manager.  “When a state trade export promotion grant became available, our International Trade Resource Center decided to take that grant and make it industry specific.  They chose aerospace and defense because those are also the fastest growing sectors in the world and the number one exports in America.”

Why that matters to cleared veterans is simple:  Jobs for security cleared personnel.

New Hampshire is home to 300 businesses servicing the aerospace and defense sectors.   Among the 80 initial members of the consortium are federal contractors that require clearances.  In addition to technical and program management jobs, there will be an increasing need for personnel skilled in contracts and trade compliance issues.

Consortium members currently include Gentex, Elbit Systems and RSCC Aerospace and Defense.  As for their targets, the consortium has already identified: India, a leader in arms imports; Brazil, home to the world’s second largest aviation fleet; and Canada, the world’s fifth largest aerospace market.

Plans are in the works for the consortium’s website to allow job seekers to post their resumes. For now, it’s still advantageous to learn more about the consortium and its efforts:

Throughout the state

Most of New Hampshire’s defense spending goes into computer and electronic product manufacturing, heavy on the communications side.  This includes detection, radar equipment and electronic equipment components.  There’s also plenty of investment in aircraft equipment manufacturing.  Large scale defense systems involve both primary and sub-contractors, which means jobs in scientific and technical services, research and development, purchasing and professional services.

Top defense employers include BAE Systems in Nashua, L-3 Communications (Insight Division) in Londonderry, Kollsman, Inc. in Merrimack, Red River Computer Co. in Claremont and Sprague Energy Corp. in Portsmouth.

Hot security clearance jobs in New Hampshire include database administrators, program analysts, Windows systems administrators and business analysts.  Average salaries for these jobs range from $80,000 to $91,000.  Senior positions can command six figures.

As for quality of life, New Hampshire consistently ranks in the top ten, sometimes in the top three states for well-being, low taxes and low crime rates.  It borders Maine, Vermont and Canada, so yes, the winters are cold.  On the other hand, it has four distinct seasons and half of its residents are not native to the state.  They made it home by choice.



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Tranette Ledford is a writer and owner of Ledford, LLC, which provides writing, editorial and public relations consulting for defense, military and private sector businesses. You can contact her at: