Freudenberg North America Limited Partnership (FNALP), one of New Hampshire's largest families of industrial companies, anticipates hiring up to 100 new employees and investing millions in capital expenditures over the next two years to maintain a robust commitment to manufacturing in the Granite State.
Freudenberg operates three companies, seven industrial facilities and employs 1,300 associates in New Hampshire. The organization provides seals and vibration control technology components, filters, nonwovens, release agents and lubricants to myriad industrial sectors from automotive and aerospace to pharmaceutical, construction and energy. TrelleborgVibracoustic, a joint venture of Freudenberg with Trelleborg, also operates in New Hampshire.
Kluber Lubrication, a world market leader of specialty lubricants and part of Freudenberg Chemical Specialties, and Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, a leading producer of advanced sealing and elastomeric products, plan to hire additional workers and pursue potential building expansions at their Londonderry, Bristol and Northfield locations by 2014.
But in a region challenged by an acute shortage of qualified industrial workers, FNALP President Leesa Smith is simultaneously pursuing collaborative strategies with the state of New Hampshire that will help make the planned investments reality. The global active Freudenberg Group provides innovative products and solutions to customers in industries ranging from automotive, aerospace and medical to chemical, oil and gas, construction and renewables.
Smith will meet in July with officials from the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development and state's college technical training system to discuss strategies and partnerships that will enhance worker training programs and encourage broader adoption of state incentives benefiting manufacturers.
"Over 25 percent of Freudenberg's North American workforce and sales are located and generated in New Hampshire," Smith said. "We are committed to this state; we feel at home here, we appreciate the New Hampshire advantage offered to our employees."
"But we are also keenly aware that competition for corporate investment is fierce and global, and we need strong public-private partnerships to overcome perceived challenges such as talent shortages and limited subsidies for industrial operations."
Smith recently met in Manchester with Hanno D. Wentzler, CEO of Freudenberg Chemical Specialties and Freudenberg family member, to consider all of the opportunities and challenges New Hampshire offers the Freudenberg organization.
"It's important to remember that New Hampshire was the cradle where Freudenberg started in the United States 60 years ago," Wentzler said. "It's always been our home base. You wouldn't expect a fine chemicals manufacturing company to locate in New Hampshire, but we have made it here, and we have excellent, competent, loyal staff on which we can build our future if there are parameters in place to support that growth."
Both Smith and Wentzler acknowledged that while New Hampshire offers its residents excellent income opportunities as well as education and lifestyle advantages, other challenges – limited funding for job training, inequitable credits for economic revitalization, and a high corporate tax structure – must be addressed in light of today's competitive business climate.
"We are looking to partner with the state to help us develop technical resources, apprenticeship and internship training programs and a level playing field," Smith said. "Our competence and business in New Hampshire has grown, and we need to establish meaningful partnerships in order address challenges and leverage opportunities across the state's manufacturing base."
About Freudenberg North America Limited Partnership
Freudenberg North America Limited Partnership, the North American holding company for Freudenberg & Co. of Weinheim, Germany, owns a family of companies that operate 15 unique businesses. Together, these companies provide innovative products and solutions to customers in industries ranging from automotive, aerospace and medical to chemical, oil and gas and construction. Freudenberg North America companies develop and manufacture custom-engineered seals, vibration control technology, filters, nonwovens, release agents, lubricants, expansion joints, household products, and IT software and services. The Freudenberg North America companies have almost 7.000 employees and a sales share of 19 percent of the total turnover of the Freudenberg Group.
The Freudenberg Group specializes in seals and vibration control technology, nonwovens, filtration, lubricants and release agents and other specialty business areas. The Freudenberg Group generated sales of more than U.S. $7.8 billion and had 37,000 global employees in 2011. For additional information, please visit www.freudenberg.us