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Company expands, creates aerospace jobs in Connecticut

March 22nd, 2015

One company is expanding and creating aerospace jobs in Connecticut.

HABCO Industries, which builds test and ground-support equipment for the aerospace industry, is expanding its Glastonbury operation and plans to increase its workforce from 42 to 79 over the next four years.

The state will support the project with a $2 million loan from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), at an interest rate of 2 percent for a term of 10 years.

DECD funding will be used to purchase manufacturing equipment such as computer numeric controlled (CNC) lathes, five axis milling machines, a tube bender, a powder coat system, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software as well as training for current and new employees.

“We are proud to have the confidence of, and partnership with, the state of Connecticut. We’re now in position to make the investments in our manufacturing and IT infrastructure we need to pursue our ambitious business strategy and realize the tremendous growth potential that the aerospace industry presents going forward,” stated Brian Montanari, President and CEO. “It demonstrates that Connecticut is creating a business-friendly environment that attracts investment, spurs job growth, and helps companies such as HABCO to become more competitive in the global marketplace.”

“I recently toured Habco, and Brian told me about his plan to double his workforce over the next few years and how the State of Connecticut can help with that,” said State Senator Steve Cassano (D-Manchester), whose 4th State Senate District includes Glastonbury. “Habco’s not moving down South. They’re not moving overseas. They’re staying and growing right here in Connecticut with the help of Governor Malloy and the state legislature. This investment is great news for Glastonbury and great news for Connecticut’s bedrock, booming aerospace and defense industries.”

“This funding will provide HABCO with the employees, equipment, training, and infrastructure to remain a strong partner in Connecticut’s future aerospace growth plans,” said DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. “And a strong manufacturing sector is crucial to a strong overall economy.”

Manufacturer expands, creates manufacturing jobs in Connecticut

March 9th, 2015

Precision manufacturer Leipold, Inc. is expanding its Connecticut operation and increasing employment by up to fifty percent over the next two years to create more manufacturing jobs in Connecticut.

The company manufactures precision components in the automotive, electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic and telecommunication industries.

Leipold has been partnering with Asnuntuck Community College and other state educational institutions to develop apprenticeships. The company currently has two full-time employees from that program, and another apprentice currently in training.

The total project cost is $8 million, which includes a Department of Economic and Community Development Manufacturers Assistance Act loan of $3 million.

Terms are one percent for ten years, with principal deferred for the first six years. Forgiveness of $1 million may be offered if Leipold retains 40 jobs and creates ten within four years.

Beyond that, each new position may be eligible for an additional $100,000 forgiveness up to a maximum of $2 million in total forgiveness if 20 net new jobs are created.

“Our partnership with Asnuntuck is one of the reasons Leipold, Inc. is expanding here in Connecticut,” said the company’s General Manager Michael Kraemer, who also sits on the machinist program advisory board at Asnuntuck. “The investments that the Malloy administration is making in the development of Connecticut’s workforce are crucial to our long-term success and will allow us to maximize the opportunity for job creation that the funding announced today supports.”

Process to create more Connecticut energy jobs?

March 4th, 2015

A coordinated process involving three states may result in the creation of more Connecticut energy jobs.

Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have initiated a coordinated process that will lead to a three-state Request for Proposals (RFP) for clean energy resources.

The State of Connecticut has the ability to participate in this multi-state initiative as a result of the Governor’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which the General Assembly approved in 2013

The draft RFP seeks to allow the states to consider projects for the delivery of clean energy through: 1) traditional power purchase agreements that do not require transmission upgrades, 2) purchase power agreements that require transmission, and/or 3) transmission projects containing clean energy delivery commitments, but without any associated power purchase agreements.

The three states took the first step in the procurement process by formally releasing a draft RFP for a 30-day comment period. The comment period will end on March 27, 2015. After considering the comments, the states will issue the final RFP this spring.

The RFP will seek bids on new Class I Renewable Energy projects – which include wind, solar, small hydro, biomass and fuel cells – of at least 20 megawatts (MW) and large-scale hydro power projects that were constructed after January 1, 2003.

“By working together with neighboring states we can make the most efficient use of our resources to attract new clean energy projects at the lowest possible cost for ratepayers while advancing our interests in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases,” said Governor Malloy. “The joint procurement process opens the possibility of procuring large-scale projects and transmission to deliver clean energy on a scale that no single state could secure on its own.”

The RFP invites bids for projects that deliver firm incremental clean energy over new or existing transmission projects of up to the equivalent of 500 MW of wind for Connecticut.

Pay secrecy legislation to affect those with Connecticut jobs

February 20th, 2015

The governor is proposing legislation regarding the practice of pay secrecy in order to positively impact those with Connecticut jobs.

Pay secrecy is a practice among employers that frequently hinders pay discrimination from being pinpointed. Under the proposal, it will become illegal for employers to prohibit their employees from disclosing their own compensation information or inquiring about the wages of another employee.

“In the analysis we completed on this topic, we learned that frank and open discussions about wages in the workplace can help address the pay equity problem through increased awareness of the issue,” Commissioner Smith said. “This legislation retains a company’s confidential information, while allowing a more transparent and informed conversation on the topic.”

“Unfortunately, pay secrecy policies contribute greatly to the gender pay gap that continues to exist, and this legislation is an important step toward ending wage discrimination women encounter in the workplace,” Commissioner Palmer said. “In Connecticut, where women comprise approximately 47% of the workforce and are often responsible for ensuring the economic security of their families, pay fairness is key if we want to provide a better quality for life for our citizens and the generations that follow.”

“Wage discrimination is insidious and damages the economic security of women and minorities in the workforce — and their families,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “Ending pay secrecy is part of ensuring Connecticut’s global competitiveness and sends a signal that both women and men are valuable to the workplace and the economy, and that all employees must be compensated fairly and justly irrespective of gender and race.”

Second Chance Society to help people get Connecticut jobs

February 8th, 2015

The state has just unveiled Second Chance Society, a program that has initiatives to continue the progress being made in reducing the state’s dropping crime rate, which is currently at a 48-year low, as well ensuring nonviolent offenders are being reintegrated into society, a move that will help ex-convicts get Connecticut jobs.

Governor Malloy is proposing to take action on five key areas:
Reclassifying certain nonviolent offenses
Eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug possession
Streamlining our parole system to make it more efficient and effective
Streamlining our pardons system to give ex-offenders a greater chance at employment
Creating real job and housing opportunities for ex-offenders

Over the last four years in Connecticut, a number of new initiatives have been implemented that are having a strong impact on reducing the crime rate in the state. These include:

Reforms to the juvenile justice system, working to close the school to prison pipeline
Restoration of the state’s crime lab to eliminate backlogs and restore it to best-in-the-nation status
Integration of federal, state, and local law enforcement into communities through community policing and programs such as Project Longevity
Removal of dangerous guns from the streets with gun buy backs, and approval of gun violence prevention legislation
Targeting violent offenders in communities and putting them away for longer sentences

“Because of these policies, fewer innocent people have been victimized and violent offenders are serving more time in prison than ever before,” Governor Malloy said. “But we can’t be a perpetually punitive society. We have to do better in Connecticut. We have to become a Second Chance Society where we don’t permanently punish nonviolent offenders, swelling our prisons and creating lifetime criminals out of people who made one mistake. Let’s focus on effective solutions that break the cycle of crime and make our communities safer.”

Wastewater projects to create Connecticut jobs

February 4th, 2015

A slew of new wastewater projects aimed at protecting the quailty of water will possibly create more Connecticut jobs.

About $480 million in grants and loans were approved by local projects aimed at improving wastewater treatment plants and sanitary sewer systems.

Projects to be supported by funds approved for release by the Bond Commission include:

The Metropolitan District Commission (MDC)’s Clean Water Project: $258 million for the next phase of a 20-year investment in modernizing the sanitary sewer system in the Greater Hartford area. This includes separating out the flow of storm water from sanitary sewers in order to reduce overflows of raw sewage from the sewer system and into the Connecticut River. The package for the MDC includes $80 million in grants and $178 million in loans. These funds will finance the next phase of work on the MDC’s Clean Water Project which include improvements at the Hartford treatment plant, rehabilitation of the sanitary sewers in the Greater Hartford area and the design of a 98 million gallon tunnel to store wastewater during rain storms.

Bristol Wastewater Treatment Plant: $19 million for plant upgrades, including improving the capacity to remove phosphorous from wastewater in order to protect the quality of the Pequabuck River, where it is discharged. The package includes $9.5 million in grants and $9.5 million in loans.

Norwich Wastewater Treatment Plant: $100 million for improvements to the plant, which includes upgrades to aging infrastructure and for nitrogen removal. The package includes $20 million in grants and $80 million in loans.

Additional Projects in Communities Across the State: $103 million for variety of purposes, such as planning studies, engineering designs, small community projects, pump station rehabilitation, green infrastructure projects, and projects to compensate for sea level rise.

Intermodal Center to create Connecticut construction jobs

January 25th, 2015

The Meriden train station on the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield (NHHS) rail corridor, which is the site of an ongoing transit-oriented development (TOD) project, will possibly create many Connecticut construction jobs.

Governor Malloy outlined his long-term vision for investing in upgrading and modernizing Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure. The goal is to focus on stimulating the area within a half-mile of the proposed new Meriden Intermodal Center.

The City of Meriden will capitalize on the increased transit connectivity anticipated to begin in late 2016, by taking a proactive approach to “re-visioning” its City Center, with a primary focus on the area within a half-mile of the proposed new Meriden Intermodal Center.
Meriden Intermodal Center: a pedestrian link across the rail line from Colony Street to the HUB Park; a new mixed-use, multi-modal interface and parking structure.

Development at 24 Colony Street: revitalize the north-south commercial-retail corridor with strategic infill development and the preservation of historic buildings; connect to the new Meriden Intermodal Center.

It is a collaborative community process that will include preliminary design concepts for the new Meriden Intermodal Center, a station-area market analysis, a strategy for building long-term public-private partnerships (tax incentives, subsidies, land assemblage), recommendations for improved traffic patterns and parking, and an exploration of the merits of various planning tools (zoning/regulations) and design guidelines (streetscapes/public realm/architecture) for defining the new identity of the City Center.

“This project will transform the 91 corridor with high speed rail while revitalizing cities and towns between New Haven and Hartford,” said Governor Malloy. “The citizens and business community in Meriden and its surroundings will benefit from our investments for years to come. This is a terrific partnership, and I would like to thank the city and the Connecticut state agencies that are moving this project forward – Transportation, Economic and Community Development, and Energy and Environmental Protection.”

$850,000 to the City of Meriden for market analysis, financial planning, environmental benefit analyses and preparation for studies/surveys related to the NHHS rail line.

Restoration projects to create Connecticut construction jobs

January 8th, 2015

Many restoration projects are planned around the state that will create many more Connecticut construction jobs.

About $30 million in grants for the restoration and resiliency to existing infrastructure in municipalities impacted by Super Storm Sandy.

The award recipients are as follows:

Bridgeport, Crescent Crossing — $2,912,893: This project will correct flooding by raising the grade of the site above the 100-year-flood plain. It involves building a retaining wall, installing storm water drainage, and installing underground utilities, site lighting, and emergency generators. It will be followed by the construction of streets and sidewalks.

Bridgeport, Essential Generators— $610,000: This infrastructure grant will support installing generators at Hooker, Madison, Columbus, Cross, and Hallen schools. Significant power outages during Super Storm Sandy resulted in the city doing an extensive analysis of its critical facilities. The analysis identified 46 public facilities in need of generators. These five generators were deemed “essential.”

Bridgeport, Yellow Bridge Resiliency— $2,625,000: The project will improve the resiliency and operation of the moveable bridge over Yellow Mill Channel during extreme weather events. Running parallel to Rt. I-95, Bridge No. 03637 provides access to and from I-95, serves as an alternate route for local traffic, and is directly adjacent to the Steel Pointe Harbor development. Dependable operation will be critical for keeping the multi-year development initiative on schedule, and will have a positive impact on the community and ensure a safe evacuation if needed.

“Earlier this year, DOH disbursed nearly $32 million in several communities ravaged by recent storms. This second round of federal funding will build on the momentum started in rebuilding infrastructure projects,” said Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein. “It’s also helping these same cities and towns take measures that will diminish the impacts of future storms.”

Minimum wage affects Connecticut jobs

January 5th, 2015

The increase in the minimum wage, effective January 1, is impacting Connecticut jobs.

The minimum wage is up from the current rate of $8.70 an hour to $9.15 per hour.

Following this week’s increase, there are two more scheduled under the adopted law: it will rise to $9.60 on January 1, 2016, and then to $10.10 on January 1, 2017.

Under Section 31-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Connecticut minimum wage rates for service employees, specifically restaurant waitpersons or bartenders, are determined by using a formula that takes tip deductions into account.

“Connecticut was the first state in the nation to commit to increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour because we want to make sure that no one who works full time lives in poverty,” Governor Malloy said. “This latest increase is just one more part of a phased-in series of gradual increases for hard-working men and women, many of whom are supporting their families and who will put this increase directly into Connecticut’s economy.”

“Our state is taking the right step in its efforts to provide a better wage for lower-income workers,” Connecticut Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer said. “This phased-in increase will help families support themselves, and in turn will help grow Connecticut’s economy.”

State adds Connecticut jobs

December 29th, 2014

The latest economic report shows that the state grew and added Connecticut jobs.

The monthly report shows:

Connecticut saw a net increase of 4,700 private sector jobs in November 2014
Since January 2011, the total number of private sector jobs in the state has increased by 76,000
The state’s private sector has recovered 92% of the jobs that were lost during the Great Recession
Employee hours and earnings have increased over the last twelve months, with a 1.8% increase in the average weekly hours worked and an increase of nearly $60 in average weekly earnings
The labor force participation rate, currently at 1,898,752, has increased over the year by 2.8%.

“This report is another positive sign that we are making progress in our effort to create good paying jobs with good benefits for residents,” said Governor Malloy. “Labor force participation is up. We are seeing growth in nearly every sector of the economy. And the private sector in particular has almost completely recovered the jobs lost during the recession. While these are positive signs, it is critical that we work to make the changes that lead to even greater positive growth. I won’t be satisfied until everyone who wants a job has one. And during the upcoming session of the state legislature, I am hopeful that we can do more to work together and reinvent Connecticut in order to create jobs for the 21st Century economy.”

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