LACONIA — As part of her Make It In America campaign, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (N.H. Dist. 1) toured Titeflex Aerospace yesterday afternoon before meeting with the company's employees.

Shea-Porter met with executives of the British-based Smiths Group that employees 335 people in its two Laconia facilities in the O'Shea Industrial Park.

Titeflex's Laconia operation concentrates in fluids management for the aerospace, transportation and industrial sectors. Shea-Porter sits on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee and its Subcommittee on Readiness.

She was in the Lakes Region to meet with small business leaders to see what issues they face and how she and her staff can increase the number of manufacturing jobs in the state.

"These are good jobs, in a good industry and their good for our economic base," Shea-Porter said, recalling her days working in a factory in the seacoast area to pay for college.

Key among the particular issues faced by Titeflex, said General Manager Graham Thomson, are finding skilled employees, the rising cost of energy in the state, and increasing costs of health insurance.

About 25 percent of Titeflex's business comes from the U.S. Military and Shea-Porter also wanted to know if the sequestration will have any lingering effects on Titeflex's long-term profitability.

Thomson said government contracts have leveled out but civil demand is increasing. He said the company recently secured some supply contracts with Airbus and for the Boeing 787 "Dreamliner".

Shea-Porter told Thomson she would write a letter to the FAA that she hopes will speed along the process by which Titeflex and other companies operating in the U.S. can get access to international markets for foreign repair stations — 45 percent of the work currently goes to Asian companies.

"We want to do our part to promote the manufacturing industry in New Hampshire," said Shea-Porter.

CAPTION -(Titeflex) Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (N.H. Dist. 1) examines some piping with Titeflex General Manager Graham Thomson yesterday afternoon. Shea-Porter was in Laconia as part of her outreach to local manufacturers. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

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