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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.

Courthouse will create more construction jobs in Connecticut

May 28th, 2014

The creation of a courthouse is going to bring more construction jobs in Connecticut.

The Litchfield County Courthouse project will be in Torrington.

The Judicial Branch has been working to construct a new courthouse for the Litchfield Judicial District for nearly 40 years. The existing courthouse facilities in that district total about 39,000 square feet distributed over four locations. For a variety of reasons, a number of court cases must be reassigned to other district courthouses due to the inability of the current facilities to effectively serve the Litchfield District.

Judge Patrick L. Carroll III, the Chief Court Administrator, said, “We’re thrilled with today’s announcement. No one can doubt the need for a new courthouse to serve the citizens of the Litchfield Judicial District and with the pending approval of construction funding by the Bond Commission the District will soon be home to the Judicial Branch’s flagship courthouse, one with twenty-first century security, amenities and technology. Chief Justice Chase Rogers and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Governor Malloy, Commissioner DeFronzo and legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle for their steadfast support of the Judicial Branch.”

“As a legislator who has been supporting and working on the Litchfield County Courthouse project for many years, seeing that Governor Malloy has placed the project as the number one item on the Bond Commission’s agenda for approval is a landmark development,” State Representative Roberta Willis (D-64) said. “Not only will the $81.45 million project create or retain 1,424 construction related jobs and serve as an economic catalyst for the entire region, but a new Litchfield Superior Court will finally become a reality.”

“This is an exciting time and a long time coming, for the residents of Torrington and the Northwest corner,” said State Representative Michelle Cook (D-65). “This will help the local economy, create jobs, as well as revitalize a part of town that has been empty for far too long. I want to thank the Governor for the continued support of this project and look forward to ground breaking.”

“Though it’s taken more than a generation, I’m proud that we could move this project forward and begin the necessary work of building a twenty-first century courthouse,” Governor Malloy said. “By consolidating operations into one facility, we can save taxpayers time and make operations more efficient. Many people in this community have worked for years on this goal. We could not have gotten to this point without their tireless advocacy.”

Large company expands, creates editing jobs in Connecticut

May 21st, 2014

The expansion of ESPN is creating more editing jobs in Connecticut.

ESPN has created a new digital Center 2 building, a project announced two years ago as part of the Governor’s First Five economic development program.

The new facility increases the company’s digital capabilities and will create at least 200 jobs in the state over the next three years.

Digital Center 2 is a 194,000 square foot, multi-platform digital production facility that includes four studios, six production control rooms and 26 edit rooms.

The facility will be the new home of ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter beginning in June. ESPN employs nearly 4,000 in the state and is Bristol’s largest taxpayer.

In exchange for creating a minimum of 200 jobs by 2017 and making capital expenditures of at least $175 million in the facility, ESPN is eligible for up to $10 million in Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment Tax Credits (URA). The credits, which must be earned, are provided over a 10-year period.

The URA program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

“ESPN is a leading employer in our state, and the company’s willingness to continue to expand and hire here demonstrates that Connecticut really is a great place to grow and invest,” said Governor Malloy. “ESPN’s new digital center will create hundreds of new jobs for residents and reinforces the company and our state’s well-earned reputation as a hub for sports digital media and broadcasting.”

“ESPN appreciates the support of Governor Malloy and the state as we continue to grow in Connecticut,” said Ed Durso, ESPN’s Executive Vice President/Administration.

“Public-private partnerships with leading companies like ESPN can have tremendous direct and indirect benefits for our state,” said DECD commissioner Catherine Smith. “In addition to the jobs and new capital investment, this project strengthens the state’s competitive position in the growing digital media sector.”

Company hires for sales jobs in Connecticut

May 6th, 2014

One company has secured a key hire for sales jobs in Connecticut.

IMCORP, which enhances the reliability of electric power delivered to people through underground power cables, has hired Harry Broussard as Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Brussard joins IMCORP after a 27 year career at Eaton Corporation. He has a tenure in various sales, sales management, business management and marketing management positions.

This experience is specific to the utility, renewable, oil & gas and industrial market segments.

In addition to industry experience, Brussard holds a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from the University of Alabama and an MBA from Tulane University.

IMCORP, an engineering services company, is a provider of underground power cable diagnostics. The company’s patented technology has been field-proven through the testing of millions of feet of underground power cable all over the world.

The Factory Grade test locates existing cable system defects and predicts future cable reliability. This performance-driven diagnostic solution provides an efficient way to determine the reliability of new or aged cable systems from 5kV to 500kV.

IMCORP has been assisting clients around the world improve cable reliability for over 18 years, and has tested more than 71,000 spans totaling over 90 million feet.

State approves legislation to help unemployed find Connecticut jobs

April 30th, 2014

The Connecticut House of Representatives has approved legislation to help unemployed people seek out Connecticut jobs.

The legislation removes certain barriers to employment that often prevents long-term unemployed residents from even being considered for available job openings.

Specifically it prohibits an employer or an employment agency from advertising a job opening stating that an individual must be currently employed for consideration for a position, and also prohibits an employer from directing an employment agency to screen applicants based on employment status.

The legislation does not make individuals who are unemployed a protected class, nor does it prevent an employer from choosing the best candidate for the position. The legislation will ensure that individuals will not be placed at an unfair disadvantage simply because he or she is not currently employed.

Other proposals currently pending before the General Assembly include expanding the state’s successful Step Up job creation program by $10 million, and creating a statewide “Platform to Employment” program that will provide a cost-effective solution to help the long-term unemployed find employment.

“Connecticut has some of the most talented and skilled workers in the nation, but there are certain barriers that sometimes can prevent even the most talented worker from being considered for a job,” Governor Malloy said. “While we are making steady progress at growing our economy, we still have more work to do. These proposals are focused on helping unemployed job seekers, and particularly those who are long-term unemployed, to gain employment. I want to thank the bipartisan Program Review Committee, particularly its co-chair State Representative Mary Mushinsky for her advocacy on this issue. I would also like to thank Commerce co-chair State Representative Chris Perone and Labor co-chair State Representative Peter Tercyak for helping gain passage of this legislation through the House, and I look forward to its approval in the Senate so I can sign it into law.”

Connecticut jobs grow in March

April 22nd, 2014

The latest labor statistics show that Connecticut jobs climbed in March.

The state has now added 9,400 jobs (0.6%) over the year. The March increase was enhanced by February’s upwardly revised increase (1,400, 0.1%) that was 600 jobs higher than originally reported.

The unemployment rate in the state for March was 7.0%, unchanged from February 2014, but down from the 7.8% rate determined a year ago. The statewide labor force estimate grew again in March (7,012, 0.4%), mostly on increased residential employment.

Employment estimates for March show a strong 4,900 job gain (0.3%) which is helping Connecticut return to the moderate nonfarm employment growth trend that was apparent at the end of 2013. Since March 2013, the state has added 9,400 jobs (0.6%) for a total nonfarm employment level of 1,658,900.

March’s monthly employment level has ascended through its three-month moving average, which is used to address monthly volatility.

Connecticut has regained 65,000 positions, or 54.6% of the 119,100 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs that were lost in the state during the March 2008 – February 2010 employment recession.

Connecticut’s jobs recovery is now 49 months old and is averaging approximately 1,327 jobs per month overall since February 2010. The core private sector has recovered at a faster pace and has now gotten back 76,500 (68.3%, 1,561 per month) of the 112,000 private jobs that were lost during the same downturn.

March 2014 preliminary estimates show five of the six major Connecticut Labor Market Areas (Bureau of Labor Statistics recognized LMAs) posted nonfarm job gains, while the Norwich-New London LMA was just slightly lower (-100, -0.1%). Hartford (3,900, 0.7%), the largest LMA, led all in job growth magnitude in March after posting a large job loss last month. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk LMA (1,900, 0.5%) also was positive and the New Haven LMA (1,300, 0.5%) added jobs as well.

State adds Connecticut jobs

April 6th, 2014

Year over year, Connecticut jobs have increased, according to recent labor statistics.

Labor statistics posit that Connecticut regained 800 total nonfarm jobs (0.05%) in February after a major weather-related employment decline in January, and has now added 10,300 jobs (0.63%) over the year. The more robust private-sector had a stronger job rebound, adding 2,700 positions (0.19%), and has increased payrolls at much faster pace over the year (14,000, 1.00%).

Connecticut’s core private sector (2,700, 0.19%) was certainly stronger last month, and has shown more solid growth over-the-year (14,000, 1.00%). The government supersector (-1,900, -0.81%) remains a drag on overall employment gains both over-the-month, over the year (-3,700, -1.56%). Since the overall job recovery began in in February 2010, an additional 12,300 additional public sector jobs have been lost.

Connecticut has recovered 59,500 positions, or nearly half of the now 119,100 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs that were lost in the state in the March 2008 – February 2010 employment downturn.

Connecticut’s jobs recovery is now 48 months old (4 years) and is averaging approximately 1,240 jobs per month overall since February 2010 (14,875 jobs per year over the four years).

The private sector has recovered much better and has now recouped 71,800 (64.1%, 1,496 per month) of the now 112,000 private jobs that were lost during the same recessionary period (17,950 jobs per year).

The state’s unemployment rate continued to undergo a steady decline, dropping two-tenths of a percentage point this month to 7.0%, and is down from the 7.9% rate calculated a year ago. This is the seventh consecutive monthly decline in Connecticut’s unemployment rate since July 2013.

An increasing civilian labor force (5,842, 0.3%) for the second month in a row, coupled with strongly rising residential employment (8,489, 0.5%), and a falling number of unemployed residents (-2,647, -2.0%) helped bring the unemployment rate down this month. T

he number of unemployed Connecticut residents has decreased 17,502 (-11.8%) since February 2013.


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