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Company creates insurance jobs in Connecticut

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Aetna is establishing its captive insurance company and creating more insurance jobs in Connecticut.

A captive insurer is wholly owned by a parent company to insure the risks of the parent and its related companies.

Aetna’s captive, the Aetna Risk Insurance Company, will provide liability coverage for the company, including errors and omissions, employment practices liability, and other related coverages. The company previously had captive insurance operations in Bermuda.

Captives are managed by specialty firms that employ a range of financial, actuarial and legal professionals who are part of Connecticut’s specialized insurance industry workforce. Once an alternative to the commercial insurance market, captives have evolved into strategic financial vehicles used for many different enterprises, such as manufacturing and health care.

“It is always gratifying to see our legislative efforts make a difference and in the case of captives, this was a sector we identified as having great potential,” said State Senator Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-Woodbridge). “Aetna and other corporations have recognized that, and I have no doubt there are more to follow.”

UBS retains Connecticut finance jobs

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

UBS, global bank and wealth manager based in Switzerland with established offices in Stamford, has amended their partnership agreement with the state, so the company will retain its Connecticut finance jobs.

Under the terms of the original loan from the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the company received $20 million which was fully forgivable if the company maintained 2,000 jobs for five years.

In the extended agreement, the same $20 million has the potential to be fully forgivable if the company continues to retain 2,000 jobs, with loan forgiveness based on the number of jobs retained in the state each year through 2021.

At the end of each year between now and 2021, a job audit will determine the level of employment from which DECD will determine what percentage of forgiveness will be earned that year.

If the company fails to meet the minimum employment obligation in any year, the related loan portion amount will be due and payable along with penalty of 7.5%.

“This extended agreement clears up any doubt about the company’s intentions in Connecticut and makes sense for UBS, Stamford and the entire state, especially given how important the financial services sector is to the state and local economies,” said Governor Malloy. “UBS has been a valued employer in a high-profile industry and a good corporate citizen in the state for many years, and that’s why maintaining this public-private partnership should be a top priority. Today’s announcement is about retaining quality jobs for Connecticut and reaffirming the state’s reputation as a leader in financial services.”

“We appreciate our partnership with Governor Malloy and the State of Connecticut and it remains an important market for UBS,” said Kathleen Lynch, COO, UBS Group Americas. “For more than a decade, UBS and our employees have been active members in communities from Stamford to Hartford, and we are pleased to continue our collaboration with this great state.”

State helps people with disabilities get Connecticut jobs

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The state has revamped their committee to help people with disabilities get Connecticut jobs.

The Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (GCEPD) has been re-invigorated with a new chairperson and committee members from the state’s business community, non-profit organizations, state agencies, and people with disabilities.

The GCEPD, housed under the Department of Labor, is a volunteer committee with members appointed by Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer. The newly-appointed chairperson, Jonathan Slifka, also serves as the Governor’s Liaison to the Disability Community. State agency appointments include representatives from the Department of Administrative Services, the Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind, Department of Transportation, the Labor Department, and the Department of Social Services.

“We are excited to have so many knowledgeable committee members that will be instrumental in helping the GCEPD fulfill its mission of developing programs and initiatives to increase statewide employment opportunities of people with disabilities,” Commissioner Palmer noted. “The committee will also support the activities of related organizations throughout the state to tap into available resources and programs.”

“There are so many elements that go into looking at the complete picture of the employment of persons’ with disabilities, from education and outreach to transportation,” said Chairperson Jonathan Slifka, Governor’s Liaison to the Disability Community. I am excited about the group that has been put together and I am eager to get started on this critical mission of bringing more of our disability community in to the workforce.”

“We are excited to have so many knowledgeable committee members that will be instrumental in helping the GCEPD fulfill its mission of developing programs and initiatives to increase statewide employment opportunities of people with disabilities,” Commissioner Palmer noted. “The committee will also support the activities of related organizations throughout the state to tap into available resources and programs.”

Initiatives the committee will be looking at include providing career fairs, promoting educational programs that can foster upward mobility in the workplace, and increasing employer awareness of the skills and abilities that a person with a disability brings to the workplace.

Programs to boost manufacturing jobs in Connecticut

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Newly created programs by the state’s Congressional delegation will help boost manufacturing jobs in Connecticut.

A consortium of all 12 community colleges in Connecticut and Charter Oak State College have been successfully awarded a $15 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to launch the Connecticut Advanced Manufacturing Initiative (CAMI) – a project that builds upon the success of the state’s nationally-recognized Advanced Manufacturing Centers that are currently implemented at four state community colleges and expands manufacturing education to every community college in Connecticut.

This is a significant opportunity for Connecticut to maximize education programs in the advanced manufacturing field, providing more students with the skills needed to meet the challenges of 21st Century production design, innovation and manufacturing.

“I’m thrilled that the Department of Labor awarded this grant to Connecticut’s 12 community colleges and Charter Oak State College,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. “With this new funding, the colleges will enhance the recruitment, advising, and training of Connecticut’s manufacturing talent pipeline, ultimately creating new career pathways and opportunities for our state’s devoted workers. I admire the commitment by Connecticut Community Colleges to invest in the economic future of our state, and this grant will enable the colleges to do just that.”

Congressman John Larson (D-1) said, “I’d like to congratulate Manchester Community College for leading the consortium and all its partners for creating new and better opportunities for our state’s veterans, and providing a new pathway for Connecticut workers to get the skills they need to access good jobs in the manufacturing sector. Our community colleges have committed to driving our economy forward by developing a pipeline of workers for local manufacturers and providing today’s workforce with the skills and education needed for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“A highly-educated and skilled workforce will provide leading manufacturers with the means they need to expand, increase production and create good-paying jobs with good benefits right here in Connecticut,” Governor Malloy said. “Time and again, I hear from manufacturers about their need for workers equipped with the tools necessary to fill some of these in-demand, modern technology manufacturing positions. To compete, we must show these employers that we are training our students for real-world jobs they want to fill. Our state’s four Advanced Manufacturing Centers have become nationally recognized in this field — expanding manufacturing education throughout the state’s community college system will show manufacturers our commitment to this emerging sector of our economy.”

Retailer recruits for Connecticut jobs at megacenter

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Retail giant Macy’s is stocking up on staff and hiring for megacenters to fill Connecticut jobs.

Macy’s is hiring 86,000 seasonal associates.

Approximately 10,000 of the 86,000 total seasonal positions will be based in the direct-to-consumer fulfillment megacenters in Martinsburg, WV; Goodyear, AZ, Portland, TN, and Cheshire, CT, and well as in product-specific fulfillment centers in Sacramento, CA, Stone Mountain, GA, Secaucus, NJ, and Joppa, MD.

About 1,125 associates will be hired to interact with customers via telephone, email and online chat at customer service centers in Mason, Ohio; Clearwater, FL; Tempe, AZ; and St. Louis, MO.
Approximately 3,000 positions will be assigned to work in the fulfillment areas of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores that are equipped to fill and ship orders directly to customers, as well as to support the Buy Online Pickup in Store service available in every location.
More than 850 persons will be hired across the country to support the 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Santalands and other iconic holiday events.

“Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are favorite places to shop throughout the holidays, and we strive to welcome and serve our customers with a consistently high level of care and attention, whether they are shopping in stores, online via desktop or on mobile devices,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer. “We first offer our current associates the opportunity to work extra hours over the holidays, then supplement our ongoing workforce with seasonal hires. All of our associates enjoy a special experience working in our fast-paced business during this festive time of the year.”

“These seasonal positions represent much-needed jobs for America, and they fill an important niche in the employment spectrum. Especially at the holidays, we employ students working during break to help pay tuition, retirees seeking to remain active and individuals from many walks of life wanting to supplement their income. We are proud to offer them this opportunity to work in a fun, fast-paced and respectful environment,” Lundgren said.

Most seasonal positions are part-time, often with flexibility to fit the availability of the individuals hired. Many positions require the applicant to work evenings, weekends or overnight. In some cases, temporary seasonal associates are offered open year-round positions based on their skills and performance over the holiday season.

Grants will create more Connecticut jobs

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

About 13 municipalities across Connecticut are being awarded $5 million in grants in order to create more Connecticut jobs and improve commercial districts.

The goal is to attract small businesses, grow jobs, and improve pedestrian access and livability in town centers.

The grants are part of the state’s Main Street Investment Fund, which is administered through the state Department of Housing.

The Main Street Investment Fund provides financial incentives to eligible municipalities as well as owners of commercial private properties for expenditures that directly support and enhance a qualified project. Awards are no more than $500,000 and can be used for expenses such as building improvements, signage, lighting, and streetscape improvements.

The funded projects are:

Berlin has been awarded $204,300 for the second phase of the Berlin Main Street Streetscape project. The project will continue new sidewalks, permeable pavers and street trees on the New Britain Road and Farmington Avenue sides of the Kensington Center Triangle. A new crosswalk and a permeable paver accent walk will be installed around Deming Park at the Kensington Road entry to the triangle. Also, a permeable paver accent will be added at the Farmington Avenue entry to the triangle, as well as new decorative lights throughout the project area.

Bethel will receive $290,149 to improve the town’s commercial center. The project — to include new sidewalks, accessibility ramps, signage, streetscape, and safety improvements — will create a walkable and ADA compliant downtown by improving public safety and pedestrian access, creating a community gathering place, and increasing recreational opportunities.

Coventry will use its $405,000 award to implement various elements of the South Coventry Village Plan. The plan calls to extend the sidewalk on Main Street to serve town hall, the police station, Orchard Hill Active Adult Community, a day care, and a church; make improvements to the historic Tracey Shoddy Mill; and create a pocket park by Teleflex Medical on Main Street.

Farmington plans to use its $425,000 award to implement recommendations of the comprehensive design plan for the revitalization of Unionville Center. Along the northern side of Rt. 177, the town is proposing a complete streetscape project of 1,900 linear feet, linking the New Horizons Village to Unionville. As part of this project, a loop of improved sidewalk will be created along Mill, Platner, and School streets. The improved sidewalks would promote greater pedestrian accessibility, improve aesthetics, and increase foot traffic to the various businesses in the area.

New London has been awarded $500,000 to improve pedestrian access to businesses in the downtown commercial area. Funds will be used to complete improvements along Eugene O’Neill Drive, transforming the car-focused thoroughfare with difficult to find parking with directional and way-finding signage, improved lighting, enhanced pedestrian connections, and trees appropriate for an urban setting. Activities will include site improvements, sidewalk improvements, site planting/lighting, etc.

Newington will begin the next phase of the Town Center Development Program with its $470,000 award. Plans call for improved pedestrian connectivity between the “Constitution Square” municipal parking lot and existing businesses on Main, Market Square, and East Cedar streets with nearby senior and workforce residential buildings on Constance Leigh Drive and the retail Plaza on Lowrey Place.

Norfolk will use its $500,000 award to convert a five-acre wetland, meadow, and hillside — colonized by invasive plant species — into a storm water park called City Meadow, complete with boardwalks and resting places utilizing low-impact development techniques. This innovative project will save a threatened pocket of wetlands and allow residents and visitors to pass through to appreciate the diverse ecosystem. Project activities include restoration of wetlands, pond creation, stone swales/site stabilization, public access improvements, retaining walls, trails, timber bridges/decks, and landscaping.

Reinvestment Act to affect aerospace jobs in Connecticut

Wednesday, 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

Sunday, 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

Monday, 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

Wednesday, 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.”

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