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In Durham: Cited for innovation, Goss adapts to make wind turbines

DURHAM - Sen. Jeanne Shaheen praised Goss International Friday as being "exactly the kind of company we want to grow and thrive in New Hampshire."

Her comment came after a tour of the printing press company and a discussion about the manufacturing of wind turbines that will take place there later this year. Joining Shaheen on the tour were Executive Councilor Bev Hollingworth and Sen. Mandy Merrill.

With support from Shaheen, Gov. John Lynch and Commissioner George Bald, Goss recently won a contract with the Plymouth, Mass. company Aeronautica, a wind power company providing wind turbines to midscale markets. Beginning in November, Goss will manufacture these turbines for Aeronautica for distribution to schools, housing developments of 15 to 150 homes and other commercial sites.

President and CEO of Goss Jochen Meissner said this contract opportunity with Aeronautica "helps us stabilize a workforce in a time when the press business is down."

"Rigorous training" on the manufacturing of these Danish-designed turbines will be provided for Goss employees, said Goss Marketing Communications Manager Greg Norris, adding there are "moving electronic parts" in the design similar to parts on the printing presses Goss already manufactures. Training may involve up to 115 employees.

"They're innovative with the changing times and in a changing market," Shaheen said of Goss. "It's important for America to have the edge with clean energy jobs. We need to put policies in Washington that will allow these new clean energy systems to compete with fossil fuels and what's existing."

In addition to Goss' part in clean energy manufacturing, Shaheen praised the company's role in exporting business.

"Most markets are outside the U.S.," Shaheen said, "and for a business to grow and prosper, being able to access those markets is very important."

Director of Operations Mark McDonnell said two-thirds of Goss' business is international, and Shaheen stressed American businesses need access to those international markets.

During the tour, McDonnell explained the different printing presses and some of the new technology Goss is using. Mechanics Dan Smith and Kevin Ezzell were working on putting together a refurbished press, which is a newer project for the company and something the men say is much more difficult.

"It's the first project of this magnitude," Ezzell said. "But it's work and we're grateful for that."

McDonnell also showed the group a printing press called the PCF-3 Folder that can fold paper 48 different ways. This paper would be used as inserts in newspapers, magazines or other print media.

Meissner reminded Shaheen and others in the group that Goss' "core business" remains print and argued with the viewpoint that use of electronics are more "green" than print.

"Think about all the electronic waste that goes into landfills," he said, noting recycling is effective in preventing paper waste.

"If you stop growing and harvesting trees," he said, "the impact on the environment will be even worse."

Meissner and O'Donnell expressed excitement at the company's involvement in wind turbine manufacturing, and said they are happy to be the contract manufacturer for Aeronatics.

"It's a way we can help in the development supply chain," O'Donnell said.