'Innovation Rocks' at Foss
Firm Introduces New Technology
By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, April 15, 2008
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[Photo by Don Clark]
HAMPTON -- It was a day of celebration at Foss Manufacturing Friday afternoon as the Hampton-based company unveiled its so called J-Line.
The newest state-of-the-art needle punch line will allow the company, which processes woven fabrics and specialty synthetic fibers, to do multiple products and allow it to expand manufacturing operations over a period of time.
Gov. John Lynch was on hand to give a champagne toast in honor of the company's recent $1.5 million investment.
"This is exactly the type of company that we want here in New Hampshire," Lynch said.
But for the workers at Foss, the day held more than just the unveiling of a new machine.
"It's an exciting time for Foss because those of us who are in the know, know that this line will catapult us into the future," said David Rowell, executive vice president of sales at Foss.
AJ Nassar, chief executive officer of Foss, said the company is not the same company it was three years ago. Nassar and Alinian Capital purchased the company in 2005 for $39 million, while it was in bankruptcy court.
Nassar said the reason why they purchased the company — that was at the time in financial — ruin was simple.
"We bought it because of the people," Nassar said. "I can tell you the main thing that drives a company is the people. In the end of the day, if you don't have the right workforce you have nothing."
Nassar said the company is in it for the long run and wants to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States.
Since taking over the company, Foss has expanded its workforce from 320 employees to 460 and created new product lines like Ecospun, a product created from recycled plastics.
The company was also recently named the "Innovation Rocks" award winner by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development's Business Resource Center.
The company won the award for its Fosshield product, which inhibits the growth of destructive bacteria and viruses.
Nassar said the company will compete against China and India by "out smarting" the competition, being more efficient and thinking outside of the box.
"The future for Foss is going to be rosy," said Nassar.
Rowell said the new J-Line sends a message to their competitors all over the world.
"They were waiting for us to die," Rowell said. "They were waiting for us to close the doors. We are not going to lie down and die and let our manufacturing jobs in the U.S. fade away so our children and our children's children do not have jobs."
Former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen praised the company for its investment and all that it is doing.
"I want to congratulate the management here at Foss Manufacturing on what you're doing not only to revitalize Foss but the efforts you're undertaking to revitalize manufacturing in this country," Shaheen said.
[Photo by Don Clark]