Monadnock Innovation Hub
MEDC is collaborating with Keene State College (KSC) , the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) and regional precision manufacturers to create a regional training facility. The facility, to be located on the KSC campus, will provide the state-of-the-art facilities where KSC faculty and industry can come together to deliver workforce training and education. The facility will include modern classroom and equipment training space, along with wet labs and a shared use makerspace.
The Hub’s principal role will be to boost the skills and productivity of the Monadnock region’s precision manufacturing workforce. In doing so, the Hub will also provide the means to introduce our young people to precision manufacturing careers. Further, the Hub will promote the availability of a career path in precision manufacturing that will help retain incumbent workers – and attract new workers to opportunities in the field.
MEDC’s role is to finance then build the Hub, then rent it to KSC. MEDC’s is assembling funding, through a combination of financing, grants, USNH contributions, and industry contributions. MEDC is also seeking to support the project through the New Market Tax Credits program. Having secured the approval of the USNH Board of Trustees, MEDC is also working with partners to complete site due diligence and develop a project design.
Keene Arts & Culture Corridor
MEDC has developed a conceptual design for an East/West corridor downtown Keene. The project vision is to create an arts and culture destination that with several arts and culture venues and activated public space, linked together with an attractive and activated walking path along the Cheshire Rail Trail. The concept leverages the strong presence of arts and culture in the Monadnock region, downtown Keene’s strong foundation of businesses and attractions, the downtown’s railroad heritage, and the city’s long-term commitment to build and nurture a vital downtown.
MEDC recently released a conceptual design study, which further defined the corridor, then tested and improved the concept through a series of public engagement events. The study’s preferred conceptual design proposes an 11-acre destination, with ten elements arrayed along a corridor running from School Street, across Main Street, to the Railroad land development. In July, MEDC briefed the Keene City Council on study results and began outreach to other community groups. MEDC will also be meeting with property and venue owners, as well as City staff, to develop an implementation plan.
In-Region Networking & Business Development
MEDC’s new staff leadership is investing time and effort to meet with community leaders, business leaders, and development partners. Through these meetings, MEDC will maintain strong relationships with service providers and funders. MEDC will also identify new potential projects.