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Reinvestment Act to affect aerospace jobs in Connecticut

September 3rd, 2014

Passage of the Connecticut Aerospace Reinvestment Act will affect hundreds of aerospace jobs in Connecticut.

The bill strengthens United Technologies Corporation (UTC)’s commitment to the State of Connecticut, impacting more than 75,000 jobs in the state.

The agreement states that UTC will invest up to $500 million to upgrade and expand its aerospace research, development and manufacturing facilities over the next five years. During the same time period, UTC expects to invest up to $4 billion in research and other capital expenditures in the state. The agreement is expected to have an impact on more than 75,000 jobs in Connecticut.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company will:

Construct a new Pratt & Whitney corporate headquarters, which it will keep in Connecticut for a minimum of 15 years
Construct a new Pratt & Whitney worldwide engineering center of excellence in Connecticut
Keep Sikorsky corporate headquarters in Connecticut for a minimum of 5 years
Create a customer training center at UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) in Windsor Locks
Build new labs and infrastructure at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC)
Invest in new research projects and capital investments at Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, UTAS and UTRC

“The importance of this deal begins with the thousands of employees at United Technologies and extends to the tens of thousands of people employed by or impacted by the work of companies in the supply chain,” said Governor Malloy. “By getting this commitment from UTC, we are ensuring that Connecticut remains a vibrant part of the aerospace industry, an industry that provides good paying jobs with good benefits for so many. I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far, and look forward to seeing this agreement move on to the next phase – construction.”

“This agreement ensures that Connecticut will remain central to our aerospace research, and home to the headquarters of Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky for years to come,” said Dr. J. Michael McQuade, UTC Senior Vice President, Science and Technology. “It means UTC’s aerospace businesses will continue to perform cutting-edge research and development in Connecticut – providing exciting new opportunities for top engineering and science graduates from our state’s colleges and universities. Our thousands of local suppliers and the Connecticut economy also will benefit from these significant investments in the future of aerospace in this state.”

Firm expands to create science jobs in Connecticut

August 31st, 2014

Datto, Inc., one of the fastest-growing information technology firms in the world, is investing in a new global headquarters in Norwalk and will be creating science jobs in Connecticut.

Datto will grow its presence in Connecticut by expanding its current space at the Merritt 7 office park and retaining or creating at least 250 jobs for Connecticut residents over the next two years.

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will provide $6 million in state funding for Datto’s expansion project, which will cost an estimated total of $15 million. The state funding, consisting of a low-interest loan and a grant-in-aid, will be used for construction, leasehold improvements and the purchase of machinery and equipment. Datto anticipates hiring a minimum of 100 high wage employees over the next two years.

Datto will receive a loan of $5 million at an interest rate of 1 percent for a term of 10 years. Principal payments will be deferred for the first three years. The company is eligible for $2.5 million in loan forgiveness if it retains 150 full-time jobs and creates 100 full-time jobs within two years. Additional forgiveness is possible if the company reaches certain job milestones. If Datto creates a total of 250 new jobs within three years, the company will qualify for a grant of $1 million.

“When Datto began to think of expanding their presence in Norwalk, I met with them early on and immediately recognized their value and potential to help our community grow. Governor Malloy and Commissioner Smith have led a sustained effort to support high-tech businesses in Connecticut. I appreciate their support for this Norwalk company, and their commitment to growing these kinds of good paying jobs in our state,” said State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk).

“This is great news for Norwalk and for the tech industry in Connecticut,” said State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137). “I thank the Bond Commission and Governor Malloy for making this important investment in Norwalk.”

“Connecticut is good for business and this announcement is further proof of that,” said State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140). “Datto’s decision to build its headquarters in Norwalk will create jobs, strengthen our economy and improve our quality of life. Helping businesses like Datto grow is the kind of economic development we need and I thank Governor Malloy for leading the way.”

Connecticut unemployment rate drops

August 18th, 2014

The latest labor statistics show that in July, Connecticut unemployment dropped to 6.6%.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Connecticut added 2,400 total nonfarm jobs (0.1%) in July. This is the sixth consecutive monthly increase and the state has now added 9,200 jobs (0.6%) over the year. June’s preliminary nonfarm job gain of 1,700 was revised up to 2,200 (0.1%) as well.

This boosts the current nonfarm employment recovery highpoint for Connecticut to 1,670,300 jobs (64.1% of job loss recovered). The core private sector July job gains were even stronger (3,100, 0.2%). The private sector has now added 17,300 jobs (1.2%) over the year.

The unemployment rate is down one-tenth of a percentage point from the June 2014 figure of 6.7% and lower by one and three-tenths of a percentage point from the July 2013 rate of 7.9%. The unemployment rate has not been this low in the state since December 2008 when it was 6.7% (it was 6.4% in November 2008 and rising fast at the time).

The number of unemployed residents has declined by 23,545 (-16.1%) since July 2013. Connecticut’s labor force is now higher by 12,428 (0.7%) participants over the year, but did decline in July (-6,311, -0.3%) after six consecutive months of labor force increases.

Connecticut has now recovered 76,400 positions, or 64.1% of the 119,100 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs that were lost in the state during the March 2008 – February 2010 recession. Connecticut’s jobs recovery is now 53 months old and is averaging approximately 1,442 jobs per month overall since February 2010.

The private sector has restored employment at a faster pace and has now recovered 86,100 (76.9%) of the 112,000 private sector jobs that were lost during the same downturn (1,625 per month). At 1,670,300 nonfarm jobs for July, the state needs to reach the 1,713,000 level to start a true nonfarm employment expansion. This will require an additional 42,700 jobs going forward. A total of 25,900 additional private sector positions are needed to have a fully restored private sector.

Machining co. creates Connecticut manufacturing jobs

August 6th, 2014

TOMZ Corporation, machining company, will expand and build a new training center at its existing 95,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Berlin, a move that will create Connecticut manufacturing jobs.

As part of the $2.3 million project, TOMZ will increase its production to meet growing demand and add 30 new jobs to its current workforce of 123 employees.

TOMZ will receive a $711,533 loan through the state Department of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) Manufacturing Assistance Act to acquire new machinery and assist the company with the construction of a new training area equipped with state-of-the-art machining technology.

DECD will provide TOMZ the loan at an interest rate of two percent for ten years, with principal and interest deferred for two years. TOMZ will be eligible for loan forgiveness of $350,000 if it meets its job retention and creation targets.

TOMZ manufactures parts for large medical device, healthcare, laboratory diagnostic and aerospace companies. TOMZ currently works in partnership with regional vocational technical schools to train and recruit entry-level machinists and is building the training center as part of its ongoing workforce development efforts. The State Bond Commission approved the funding for the project at its last meeting on July 25.

“Governor Malloy has been a true leader when it comes to investing in our state’s economic development,” House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) said. “He doesn’t just talk about working with Connecticut companies to create new jobs, he takes the action steps necessary to make sure that our corporations stay and grow in Connecticut.”

“Working in partnership with the state, our local technical high schools, and our community colleges, our training academy initiative will help us build the workforce we need, and support the future of Connecticut’s aerospace, medical, and high-tech industries,” said TOMZ Vice President Tom Matulaniec. “Governor Malloy and Majority Leader Aresimowicz recognize the need for a highly skilled advanced manufacturing workforce, and TOMZ Corporation is grateful for their support of our efforts.”

Company creates manufacturing jobs in Connecticut

August 1st, 2014

One corporation is expanding and creating manufacturing jobs in Connecticut.

Memry Corporation, a manufacturer in the shape memory alloys industry, will expand its facility in Bethel to meet growing production demand.

Memry will add 76 new jobs to its current workforce of 153 employees by November 2017.

The state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will provide Memry with a $2.75 million loan, at an interest rate of 2 percent for ten years. The Manufacturing Assistance Act loan will help the company cover the $7.9 million total cost of the project, which includes the acquisition of machinery and equipment associated with the expansion of its manufacturing facilities in Bethel.

Memry will also receive loan forgiveness if the company meets its job retention and creation targets by November 2017. Memry will receive $687,500 loan forgiveness if the company retains its existing employment level of 153 full-time employees and adds 38 jobs within three years. If Memry retains 153 employees and adds 76 jobs in that time frame, $1,375,000 of the loan will be forgiven.

“For over thirty years, Memry has built a reputation as a leading pioneer in the precision manufacturing of Nitinol components for the medical device industry and this expansion will help the company meet growing international demand for its products,” said Governor Malloy. “We are committed to supporting companies like Memry because doing so will lead to the creation of good paying jobs with good benefits in Connecticut and ensure that we maintain our position as one of the most productive manufacturing states in the nation.”

“Due to rapidly growing demand, Memry is planning a nearly $8 million project that will add 15,000 square feet of space and create a center of excellence for the manufacturing of advanced nitinol components,” said DECD commissioner Catherine Smith. “DECD’s investment will help fund new machinery and equipment, a project that will allow Memry’s innovative minds to explore even more with this ground-breaking material.”

Employers hiring for Connecticut jobs

July 23rd, 2014

The latest Manpower report shows that some employers are actively seeking personnel to fill Connecticut jobs.

According to the report, U.S. employers report a seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook of +14%.

This is the strongest Net Employment Outlook since Quarter 2 2008, when the Outlook was also +14%. The third quarter Outlook is up from +13% in Quarter 2 2014 and from +12% during Quarter 3 2013.

About 22 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels in their Quarter 3 2014 hiring plans, while anticipated staff reductions remain among the lowest in survey history at 4 percent.

Seventy-one percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. The final 3 percent of employers are undecided about their hiring intentions, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +18%. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes +14%.

The third quarter research shows that U.S. employers expect hiring intentions to remain relatively stable quarter-over-quarter across all regions, and slightly increase compared to one year ago at this time. Employers have a positive Outlook in all 13 industry sectors included in the survey, with Mining, Wholesale & Retail Trade and Leisure & Hospitality employers reporting the strongest hiring intentions.

Among the 50 states, employers in North Dakota, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, Alaska and Idaho indicate the strongest Net Employment Outlooks, while New Mexico, Mississippi, Kansas, Nevada, Illinois and Florida project the weakest Outlooks.

Among employers in the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in:

Grand Rapids, Mich.
Charleston, S.C.
Dallas
Minneapolis
Raleigh, N.C.
Rochester, N.Y.
Boise, Idaho

The weakest Outlooks are projected in:

Cape Coral, Fla.
Miami, Fla.
Akron, Ohio
Sacramento, Calif.
St. Louis
Spokane, Wash.
New York
Albuquerque, N.M.

Shows to create more production jobs in Connecticut

July 8th, 2014

Disney-ABC Domestic Television has relocated “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” from New York to Connecticut, a move that will create more production jobs in Connecticut.

The transfer will create 150 new jobs in the state. “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” is now entering its thirteenth year in syndication and began shooting for the 2014-2015 season last week at the Connecticut Film Center in Stamford.

Several companies, including ESPN, have recently either moved operations to the state or significantly expanded existing infrastructure.

Just this month, ESPN opened Digital Center 2, its 194,000 square foot, state-of-the-art digital production center, housing multiple studios and the new home for its SportsCenter franchise.

“This relocation – and the 150 jobs that come with it – is just the latest example of how our efforts to build Connecticut’s television and digital media industry have paid off tremendously over the last three years,” said Governor Malloy.

“With successful economic development tools like our motion picture tax credit program, we will continue to attract the kinds of productions and digital media that not only bring new investments to our state, but also good-paying jobs with good benefits for our residents.”

As the show’s production entity, Disney’s Valleycrest Productions is eligible to take advantage of the state Department of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) Digital Media and Motion Picture Tax Credit Program.

The program provides companies with up to a 30 percent tax credit for production expenses. Since 2006 DECD has issued $365 million in tax credits, leveraging the expenditure of $1.2 billion dollars in film, television and digital media production.

Company to create manufacturing jobs in Connecticut

June 25th, 2014

American Woolen Company is busy purchasing Warren Corporation’s assets, a move that will create more manufacturing jobs in Connecticut.

Warren Corporation is one of the last working textile mills in Eastern Connecticut. The project will result in the creation of 38 Connecticut-based jobs over the next two years.

American Woolen Company closed Wednesday on the transfer of the equipment and property, owned by The Warren Corp., which ended production at the factory at the end of last year. American Woolen will rehire many of the Warren employees as it ramps up production.

Officials from the Departments of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and DECD also worked together to advise the seller and buyer on risk mitigation issues associated with the cleanup of the site. American Woolen Company has been approved for liability protections as part of the Abandoned Brownfield Cleanup Program.

“The Warren Mills site is a reminder of the vital role our state and residents played in the emergence of the country’s vibrant manufacturing industry. To this day, it continues to be one of the most significant cultural, historical, and economic assets you will find in Eastern Connecticut,” said Governor Malloy. “It is a no-brainer for the state to support this project when you consider that this initiative will maintain an operating textile factory, strengthen Connecticut’s manufacturing sector, clean up a contaminated brownfield property and, most importantly, put 38 residents back to work.”

“This project wouldn’t have happened without the cooperation and support from Governor Malloy and his economic development team,” said Jacob Harrison Long, CEO of American Woolen Company. “The ability of staff at DECD and DEEP to coordinate efforts and meet tight deadlines was a real difference-maker.”

State gets grants to improve state of Connecticut jobs

June 17th, 2014

The state has received a grant of over $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor to improve Connecticut jobs, according to a news item.

These funds will enable six states to build or expand longitudinal databases that link workforce and education data and help these states to better understand how education and workforce development programs complement each other.

The funds go to six states in all.

Grantees will be expected to achieve multiple goals during the three-year grant period. These include:

developing or improving state workforce longitudinal data systems with individual-level information;
enabling workforce data to be matched with education data to create longitudinal data systems;
improving the quality and breadth of the data in the workforce data systems;
using longitudinal data to provide useful information about program operations;
analyzing the performance of education and employment training programs; and
providing user-friendly information to consumers, in the form of scorecards or integrated digital platforms, to help them select the training and education programs that best suit their needs.

Grantees will be expected to use these longitudinal databases to conduct research and analysis aimed at determining the effectiveness of workforce and education programs and to develop tools to better inform customers about the benefits of the publicly-funded workforce system.

These grants stem from the administration’s focus on access to high-quality data and is a companion initiative to the U.S. Department of Education’s Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grants, which are designed to build education databases.

Grants awarded through the Department of Labor’s initiative have been made across the country to single-state grantees. The grantees include four states that will begin to develop their longitudinal databases (Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky and Mississippi) and two states that intend to expand work already initiated on their databases (Nebraska and New Jersey).

Retirement still out of reach for those with Connecticut administrative jobs?

June 4th, 2014

Retirement may be yet a few more years away for those who hold Connecticut administrative jobs, among other types of jobs, according to a recent survey from Careerbuilder.

A majority (58 percent) of workers age 60 or older say they are currently putting off retirement; however, this is down from 61 percent in 2013 and a peak of 66 percent in 2010.

Forty-five percent said they’ll look for work post-retirement—a significant 15 point drop from 2013 (60 percent). This could be a sign mature workers are gaining more confidence in their finances as retirement nears or that better access to health insurance is lessening the need to work before reaching Medicare eligibility.

Among those who do plan on working post-retirement, consulting, retail and customer service work are the most popular disciplines.

Economic factors are the most significant roadblocks to retirement, but working late into one’s life is often a voluntary choice, the survey found. The following are the top reasons workers delay retirement:
• I can’t afford to retire financially: 79 percent
• I need the health insurance/benefits: 61 percent
• I enjoy my job: 49 percent
• I enjoy where I work: 46 percent
• I fear retirement may be boring: 27 percent

A third (34 percent) of employers said they received applications from mature workers (age 50+) for entry level positions. Seventy-seven percent of employers said they’d consider hiring a mature worker for a job they are overqualified for; only 9 percent said they wouldn’t on the basis of not being able to match salary demands.

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