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State creates hospitality jobs in Connecticut

April 21st, 2015

The state said that tourism was responsible for creating many hospitality jobs in Connecticut.

The results of an economic impact study of the tourism industry showed that generated $14 billion in total sales in 2013 – a three-percent increase from the prior year.

Tourism supports more than 118,000 jobs statewide – including 80,000 direct jobs – representing 5.3 percent of all employment in the state. Approximately 5,000 new jobs have been created in the industry since the end of the recession.

In addition to the direct economic impact generated by attractions, hotels, restaurants and other destinations, visitor spending benefits the entire state with $1.6 billion in tax revenue, including $513.4 million in state taxes and $344.6 million in local taxes. According to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, lodging occupancy tax generated $105 million, a $3-million increase from 2012.

In addition to the direct economic impact generated by attractions, hotels, restaurants and other destinations, visitor spending benefits the entire state with $1.6 billion in tax revenue, including $513.4 million in state taxes and $344.6 million in local taxes. According to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, lodging occupancy tax generated $105 million, a $3-million increase from 2012.

“From incredible parks and green space, to great beaches and attractions, Connecticut’s economy benefits significantly from tourism,” Governor Malloy said. “Our smart decisions and significant commitments are yielding great results, with strong job and economic growth. Connecticut is an incredible place to live and visit – and we’re working hard today so that our state has an even brighter future tomorrow.”

Aerospace jobs in Connecticut being added?

April 7th, 2015

Several new aerospace jobs in Connecticut are being added, according to a recent report out of 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.

“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.”

“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.”

Widening of interstate will create construction jobs in Connecticut

April 4th, 2015

The widening of interstate 84 will possibly create more construction jobs in Connecticut.

The widening between the areas of Washington Street and Pierpont Road. The project, which begins work this week, will see the creation of an additional, third lane on the highway in each direction.

The reconstructed section of I-84 will have a 12-foot wide right shoulder, three 12-foot wide travel lanes, and a 12-foot wide left shoulder in each direction of travel, separated by a 10-foot wide concrete barrier section. Additionally, a 12-foot auxiliary lane will be provided on I-84 westbound between the on-ramp from Harpers Ferry Road and the off-ramp to Hamilton Avenue.

Our economic growth is directly tied to our transportation system, and if we want to develop our state and meet the challenges of the 21st Century, we need a modernized, best-in-class infrastructure for our residents. This widening project will decrease traffic congestion, improve traffic operations, and increase safety,” Governor Malloy said. “This project on I-84 in Waterbury is critical for the future development of this region of the state as we continue our efforts to keep Connecticut moving forward.”

Other improvements include the construction of a new frontage road on the north side of I-84, referred to as Plank Road East, and will be constructed parallel to I-84 between Scott Road and Harpers Ferry Road. Improvements are also being completed on Hamilton Avenue, Harpers Ferry Road, Scott Road, Reidville Drive, Plank Road, Plank Road East and East Main Street.

New transit service to create transportation jobs in Connecticut

April 2nd, 2015

A new transit service is expected to create more transportation jobs in Connecticut.

CTfastrak, Connecticut’s new bus rapid transit service in central Connecticut began on Saturday, March 28, 2015, starting with nine days of free service for riders.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) said, “CTfastrak began as a bipartisan concept that, under the leadership of Governor Malloy, has become a practical solution. CTfastrak will give commuters, students, families, and seniors increased access to jobs, local businesses, and healthcare services, all while avoiding heavy traffic from New Britain to Hartford. CTfastrak is just the beginning for new alternative transportation opportunities in our state. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in Congress, I am committed to making sure that the federal government is a strong partner in all our transportation efforts.”

“With CTfastrak, Connecticut commuters will have another option to beat traffic as localities see new economic opportunities,” Governor Malloy said. “We are improving lives, easing congestion, and delivering growth in municipalities. From Waterbury through Hartford to Manchester, and to its connections to air and rail travel, CTfastrak will provide residents and business professionals with a new way to travel between our cities and towns. As we work to transform Connecticut’s transportation network with Let’s Go CT, today’s opening is a great start toward creating a 21st Century transportation system.”

“Bus rapid transit systems like CTfastrak bring fast, high-frequency service for riders and serve as a catalyst for economic development,” Federal Transit Acting Administrator Therese McMillan said. “We’re happy to help bring new transit options to central Connecticut’s growing population and the thousands of new bus riders who are expected to use the new service to connect to jobs, education, businesses and other destinations in New Britain, Newington and Hartford.”

Mayor Stewart said, “Today, we witness the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of collaboration, cooperation and execution at the federal, state and local levels. Not long ago, the area where we are standing was an abandoned warehouse. Today, it is the terminus of the nation’s newest – and New England’s first – bus rapid transit system, and the City of New Britain couldn’t be more proud. We also celebrate the perseverance of countless officials and government professionals – on every level – who absorbed tremendous criticism, but nevertheless kept the faith and kept moving the project forward.”

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.

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