Shaheen lauds ThermoFisher for company's continued growth

May 04, 2010

NEWINGTON - Sen. Jeanne Shaheen got a primer in the high-tech workings of thermostatic baths and chillers during a Monday visit to ThermoFisher Scientific, but the lawmaker left the local division of the Fortune 500 company saying she was most impressed by a trend that has the business continuing to grow as it pursues opportunities in expanding Asian markets.

Shaheen visited ThermoFisher's 25 Nimble Hill Road plant in an attempt to learn more about the company and to find out what steps she might take to support the type of companies she said are crucial to New Hampshire's economy.

"It's very high-tech and it's the type of company that is going to keep us competitive," Shaheen said of ThermoFisher.

ThermoFisher generates upward of $11 million in annual revenues producing a wide array of products ranging from microscope slides to complicated equipment used in medical laboratories around the globe.

The company employs 35,000 people in 40 countries with its devices being used for everything from thawing blood to testing the effectiveness of drugs in the human body. Others have been used to assure the proper viscosity of ketchup.

ThermoFisher's 139,000 square-foot Newington plant employees roughly 200 of the 850 individuals employed in New Hampshire.

The local division focuses on the manufacturing of thermostatic baths and chillers, which are used in laboratories to maintain strict temperature requirements for anything placed inside them.

Some of the portable devices - which can cost upward of $100,000 each - are capable of maintaining temperatures to a one thousandth of a degree Celsius, according to ThermoFisher representatives. Such temperature regulation can be crucial in the testing of things like how the body will process certain medicines.

Mike Karsonovich, a vice president and general manager, told Shaheen on Monday that the local division is continuing to grow having added 15 jobs in the past six months.

"We are expanding ... we are seeing the market come back," Karsonovich said.

Shaheen asked ThermoFisher representatives about efforts to sell more products outside the United States.

Karsonovich said his company is currently focusing its efforts on expanding more into an Asian market he said has the potential to boost company revenues.

ThermoFisher currently sells it products to entities ranging from the U.S Department of Defense to Kodak and Pfizer- the pharmaceutical giant.

Company spokespeople said ThermoFisher is committed to being a strong community partner and currently involves itself with charity endeavors through the United Way and Pease Greeters - a local organization that supports troops returning and departing for overseas duty.

Shaheen toured the manufacturing floor of ThermoFisher on Monday and expressed interest in how the company is working with New Hampshire colleges and universities to foster employment opportunities.

ThermoFisher representatives said the company has been finding success with an internship program that has resulted in a handful of University of New Hampshire students having been hired for permanent positions.

Shaheen noted that larger companies like ThermoFisher have employees whose focus lies in the expansion into more global markets and she expressed the desire to look at helping smaller New Hampshire businesses achieve similar success.

"My interest is in the global flow of products," Shaheen said.

Company representatives told Shaheen that lawmaking in Washington is having an impact on business.

Rick Jenkinson, ThermoFisher's director of government relation and public affairs, said expanded health care could bolster a pharmaceutical industry whose health is directly tied to their success.

He said current economic conditions that have hospitals tightening their belts, has certainly negatively impacted business.

By:  Geoff Cunningham Jr.
Source: Foster's Daily Democrat