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Looking Beyond the Shipyard. Economic Development Opportunities and Challenges in Southern Maine and the Seacoast of New Hampshire Charles Colgan University of Southern Maine Ross Gittell University of New Hampshire. Overview. ”We” came together to save the shipyard

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looking beyond the shipyard

Looking Beyond the Shipyard

Economic Development Opportunities and Challenges in Southern Maine and the Seacoast of New Hampshire

Charles Colgan

University of Southern Maine

Ross Gittell

University of New Hampshire

  • ”We” came together to save the shipyard
    • PNS is an asset, time to look forward and continue to work together to shape the economic future of the region
  • Geographic Triangle –Boston, Manchester, Portland… the seacoast area is at the center of the triangle..
    • This presents Opportunity
    • It also includes significant Risks
  • Development Triangle
    • Tourism Center, Technology “Mini-Hub”, Suburb\Retirement Area
    • Movement too much to any of these is not desired
    • Balance among the three can be beneficial
  • Goal: Balanced and Beneficial Development
what brings us here understanding our situation and goals
What brings us here… Understanding our Situation and Goals
  • Opportunities
    • Strong economic foundation to work from
    • a leading economic engine/region for 2 states and Northern New England
  • Tensions
    • Growth and sprawl
    • Preserving natural resources and environment
    • Maintaining the quality and character of our community
three economic roles
Three Economic Roles




opportunities defined by the two triangles
Opportunities defined by the two triangles
  • 1. Geography
    • York, Rockingham and Strafford lie at the junction of three expanding urban regions
  • 2. Economic Specialization
    • The region’s future will be defined by the balance between three different economic roles
demographic and economic dynamics
Demographic and Economic Dynamics
  • Similarities & Differences
    • York and Rockingham, Strafford, Maine and NH, and US
  • Highlighting
    • In-migration (from other states)
    • Declining young adult population
    • “Aging” Baby Boomer Concentration
    • Employment and Population Growth
    • Housing Prices and Income

Demographic-Economic Dynamic: All 3 counties have in-migration higher than US average (32%). About 2/3rds of residents in Rockingham were born in another state, just under 50% in York and Stafford.

With in-migration …higher skilled and higher income population. Rockingham stands out. US averages define the coordinates.

High Concentration of baby boomers in NH and Maine and in Rockingham and York. Relatively low percent of under 18 population in Strafford and York and Maine.


Baby Boomers are aging, unlike 1990 the region (except for Strafford) no longer has higher percentage of 25-34 year olds than the US average.

declining young adult 25 to 34 year old entry level work cohort 1990 to 2004
Declining young adult (25 to 34 year old) entry level work cohort, 1990 to 2004.
  • Compared to 1990 to 2004, US average of 7% decline in young adults
    • Rockingham County declined 38%
    • York, 23.%
    • Strafford, 13%
    • This is a New England concern… there are 4 states in the region (including NH and Maine) among the 5 states with the greatest percentage decline in young adult population…
now rockingham and york have high concentration of 45 64 year olds this was not true in 1990
Now Rockingham and York have high concentration of 45-64 year olds.. This was not true in 1990.

Older population concentration in Maine.. Above average percentages of 65+ and below average young cohort in York. Rockingham concentration of boomers. Strafford college aged concentration.

income economy employment and industry

Income, Economy, Employment and Industry

Focusing on the Industrial Base and Economic Future


Household IncomeRockingham ranks highest in household income .similar to northeastern Mass.. Strafford and York have lower percentage of high income households.

Over last 2 decades Rockingham an employment growth center. York more of a population growth center…Strafford neither.

Housing prices in the area relative to 3-state region and compared to US average are not “out of line” with income ..but affordability is issue for local workers

more recently york emerging as employment growth area and strafford as a population growth center
More recently York emerging as employment growth area and Strafford as a population growth center.

Rockingham has balance of leisure & hospitality and high tech employment. York has concentration in leisure and hospitality, not tech. Strafford does not have high concentration of either.


Rockingham high per capita income related to high technology concentration and high percent of population with college degree.. Neither York or Strafford above US average in high tech or income per capita.

leading industries

Leading Industries

Strafford, Rockingham and York

commonalities among top 25 industries in each county
Commonalities among Top 25 Industries in Each County

Leading industries defined as high specialization and high growth

  • Demographics
  • High costs .. Relative to growing areas in US (e.g., North Carolina, Georgia)
  • Turning into a “Boston suburb” or retirement community
  • Differences and frictions across the river
opportunities industries and industry issues to focus on
OpportunitiesIndustries and industry issues to focus on
  • Export Industries …essential for a strong economic future
    • Manufacturing, small and medium-sized firms, niche supplier firms, and innovation & new product focus
    • High Technology, computer component parts, software development, information and computer system design
    • Tourism, leisure and hospitality and eating establishments
  • Employment Services
    • Services a broad range of industries
    • Both high and low skilled and waged jobs
  • Health Care as an Industry
    • Significant employer
    • Service industry …part of quality of life
    • As export industry … selective areas of opportunity?
opportunities continued industries and industry issues to focus on
Opportunities (continued)Industries and industry issues to focus on
  • Professional Services and Corporate Offices
    • Engineering and architectural services
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Construction and real estate ..have been strong but vulnerability
  • Creative Industries ..art, culture, music … add to the quality of life and help attract skilled workers and entrepreneurs to the area
development issues that need to be considered
Development issues that need to be considered
  • Demographics
    • Paucity of younger skilled workers
    • Aging population and workforce
    • Migration … in and out-migration of domestic, foreign immigration
  • Education and training for the “right” jobs and industries
    • K-16+ quality and coordination in the region
    • Need for science, engineering, IT and math focus
  • Promoting Entrepreneurship and Innovation
development issues that need to be considered30
Development issues that need to be considered
  • Quality of Life as an economic development asset
    • recreational amenities, health care system, low crime, historical resource, social capital, socio-economic diversity
  • Infrastructure
    • Housing… affordability, availability for workforce, diversity
    • Transportation – regional multi-modal hub, local roads to relieve bottlenecks on bridges and elsewhere, public transport
    • Energy ..costs and alternative fuels/sources
    • Water supply
implementation issues
Implementation issues..
  • Collaboration
    • Acting on common interest
    • Recognizing differences
    • Reducing conflicts
    • Working together on specific initiatives of mutual benefit
  • Marketing/Branding of the Area
    • Business recruitment and retention
    • Tourism development
beyond pnh initiatives some ideas
Beyond PNH Initiatives… some ideas
  • Education & Training: Sharing & Adding Capacity/Resources
    • Community college cooperative agreements and arrangements
    • Math, Science & Technology Institute (center of excellence) for primary and secondary students
    • Graduate Education tied to the regional economy –UNH-USM (in business, marine and atmospheric sciences, computer science and engineering programs)
beyond pnh initiatives some ideas33
Beyond PNH Initiatives… some ideas
  • Transport nodes and roads
    • Strafford-Rockingham-York “mini-128” loop
    • Multi-Modal Hub/Center for commuting
      • Local public transport network (for younger workers, low income and elderly and to reduce pollution)
      • Train service to Boston and other locations
      • Regular bus service to Manchester Airport
      • Ferry Services, tourism and commuters
beyond pnh initiatives some more ideas
Beyond PNH Initiatives…some more ideas
  • Housing..
    • Multi-unit and rental in larger cities and towns
    • Conversion of seasonal housing to year-round
  • Business Incubator
    • For technology start-ups
    • For entrepreneurial ventures
    • For female and immigrant owned businesses
three economic roles37
Three Economic Roles




where do we go from here
Where do we go from here ??
  • It is up to you!!