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Full day kindergarten to affect those with education jobs in Connecticut

May 22nd, 2015

A new law coming in the future will affect those with education jobs in Connecticut.

The mayor has been highlighting the importance and benefits of full-day kindergarten for Connecticut’s five-year-old learners, approximately 2,000 of whom do not have access to full day instruction – or roughly 5.5 percent.

Full-day kindergarten serves as an important bridge between pre-kindergarten programs and more structured learning in Grade 1 classrooms. Often, students learn through play in kindergarten. In addition to academic learning, teachers focus on developing students’ social and emotional skills.

“Investments into early learning yield invaluable returns for students, families and communities,” Education Commissioner Wentzell said. “Full-day kindergarten is essential to addressing the preparation gap and provides teachers more time to identify and address students’ potential learning challenges. In many ways, full-day kindergarten is not something we can afford to delay.”

“By depriving thousands of children of full-day kindergarten, we are going backwards. It’s time we act now to make full-day kindergarten universal in Connecticut so that we can make students’ lives brighter tomorrow,” Governor Malloy said. “This is a commonsense issue, and one that we should take action on now. It will yield innumerable benefits in the long-run. It’s simply counterintuitive for some children to attend full-day pre-K, yet have others be denied full-day kindergarten. Extended learning time works – and I’m a believer in doing what works. Within two years, every kindergartener should have access to a full-day of learning.”

Initiatives will create Connecticut transportation jobs

May 6th, 2015

Some new initiatives will create more Connecticut transportation jobs.

The city announced there will be projects in Old Saybrook to highlight transit-oriented development (TOD) initiatives in the surrounding area.

These improvements are complemented and supported by the private investment in a new residential development, to be known as Eastpointe at Saybrook Junction, made up of 186 one- and two- bedroom units. The development, by Eastpointe LLC of Greenwich, will have a dog park and have access to the Old Saybrook Junction Marketplace and the train station and bus stop.

The projects represent the state’s continued commitment to provide Connecticut and its local communities with a best-in-class transportation system, delivering economic development, job growth, and improved quality of life.

“The project in Old Saybrook is a perfect example of steps we can take to encourage public transit and sound land use policies in order to better meet the needs of our residents and enhance protection of natural resources, said Robert Klee, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “With a focus on increasing access to the train station and providing housing nearby, we can reduce environmental impacts associated with transportation and improve the quality of life for people in the area.”

Push to strengthen infrastructure could lead to more Connecticut construction jobs

April 28th, 2015

A new big initiative to clean up or create stronger infrastructure called forth by the governor could lead to more Connecticut construction jobs.

Ridership on the New Haven commuter rail line reached record highs in 2014, with 39.6 million passenger trips – a 1.6 percent increase over 2013 – according to numbers released today by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

The data demonstrates the state’s need to focus on a continued commitment to its transportation system, including rail.

“With record high ridership, commuters in Connecticut are increasingly choosing to use public transportation, demonstrating that a modern and efficient transportation network is one of the key components of a competitive economic climate,” Governor Malloy said. “The data only further emphasizes the reasons why we need to continue our efforts to improve infrastructure and operations so that we can provide residents with the best-in-class service they need to commute in their daily lives and reinvigorate communities.”

Proposals include funding to finish design and construction for train stations up and down the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Line and double-tracking the entire rail line to bring commuter rail service to that section of the state; building new stations in Bridgeport, Norwalk and Orange on the New Haven Line; and completing a new parking garage at the station in New Haven.

He has also proposed funds to upgrade and repair bridges on the New Haven Line, in addition to completing a build-out of a new signal system on the Waterbury Branch that will allow for increased ridership and more frequent service, helping communities throughout Naugatuck Valley revitalize their downtowns.

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.

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