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Intermodal Center to create Connecticut construction jobs

Sunday, 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

Thursday, 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

Monday, 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

Monday, 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.”

Company creates more aerospace jobs in Connecticut

Monday, December 8th, 2014

AMCO Precision Tool Inc. is expanding and creating more aerospace jobs in Connecticut.

The Berlin-based company, which provides aerospace and commercial parts machining industry, will support a $160 million contract over the next 20 years. The State Bond Commission at its most recent meeting approved a $2.1 million loan in support of the project, which will retain 34 employees and create up to 25 new positions within six years.

AMCO’s $4.72 expansion project will allow the company to expand manufacturing operations, hire new employees, upgrade technology and purchase new machinery, equipment and raw material for development and production. The state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will provide the loan through the Manufacturing Assistance Act (MAA) at an interest rate of 2 percent for ten years with principal deferred for five years. AMCO will be eligible for $1.6 million in loan forgiveness if it meets certain financial and job retention and creation milestones.

“As our state’s aerospace manufacturing supply chain prepares for the increased demand for parts and services over the next few years, we want to give Connecticut companies, both large and small, the tools they need to not only maintain their competitive edge but grow and thrive,” said Governor Malloy. “That’s why we are investing in initiatives like our Manufacturing Assistance Act and Manufacturing Innovation Fund in order to help smaller vendors like AMCO continue to play a critical support role for the state’s prime contractors. We know doing so will bring good-paying manufacturing jobs with good benefits back to the state and position Connecticut as a world-wide leader in the aerospace manufacturing industry for generations to come.”

“AMCO Precision Tool has been a great neighbor in Berlin, and I am thrilled that the State of Connecticut will be supporting this business so that they can continue to grow and thrive in our community,” said State Senator Terry Gerratana. “As AMCO grows, it will create good-paying jobs that will attract families to Berlin. I am very thankful for Governor Malloy’s continued support of our hard-working manufacturers.”

“AMCO has been a part of Berlin’s community for more than 45 years,” said House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D – Berlin/Southington). “This is yet another success story of a small company who was able to work in partnership with the state to expand their facility, almost double their work force, and continue to thrive while staying in the state of Connecticut.”

Programs help create manufacturing jobs in Connecticut

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The Connecticut Technical High School System’s (CTHSS) manufacturing programs are being expanded upon to help create more manufacturing jobs in Connecticut.

The State Bond Commission will vote to approve $5 million for the continued expansion of the program.

The funds are requested to finance the purchase and installation of equipment and machinery, alterations and improvements to buildings and grounds, and computer and technology upgrades.

Another $434,000 is sought for extending school hours at A.I. Prince Tech in Hartford and Eli Whitney Tech in Hamden to allow expansion of weatherization, carpentry, gas pipeline, cement masonry, and manufacturing programs.

“Expanding the technical high schools’ manufacturing programs is a smart investment that will provide state-of-the-art training for students and provide Connecticut employers with highly skilled workers,” Governor Malloy said. “Students will be better prepared for careers or to continue their studies in college as a result of these improvements.”

“This investment will deliver essential support to our technical high school system so that we can continue to provide an outstanding future-focused education to our students,” Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said. “We are grateful to Governor Malloy and to the Bond Commission for their previous investments and look forward to their renewed support.”

“Students in our manufacturing cluster receive the technical skills and training necessary to operate complex machines and produce high-quality products,” said CTHSS Superintendent Dr. Nivea Torres. “Today’s manufacturing jobs require specialized computer training and Connecticut’s educational system is prepared to train young people to enter this exciting field.”

Program helps to create Connecticut jobs

Monday, December 1st, 2014

The state’s Subsidized Training and Employment Program known as “Step Up” is helping small businesses create Connecticut jobs.

The program assists with workforce training and is continuing its efforts to expand its job creation goals, resulting in nearly 700 companies creating 2,743 new jobs in the state since its launch.

Step Up provides either a wage subsidy or training grant of up to $12,500 to eligible small employers with a workforce of 100 or less for the first six months that an employee is hired.

Qualified participants are typically residents who may have some of the necessary job qualifications but who still require on-the-job training to meet the needs of the company.

“Growing jobs continues to be a priority for our state and Step Up has proven to be a valuable catalyst in providing employment to over 2,700 people – in careers ranging from project engineers and welders to accountants and customer service,” Connecticut Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner Dennis Murphy said. “With each additional job created, Step Up brings new opportunities for growth in Connecticut and getting its residents back to work.”

“Step Up is an important initiative we launched that is targeted at creating new jobs for unemployed workers, many of whom are well-educated and skilled but may need new training for specific positions,” Governor Malloy said. “By collaborating with small businesses – which account for 94% of Connecticut’s employers – we are helping these companies grow and in turn this program is strengthening our local economy.”

The Unemployed Armed Forces Member Step Up Program is open to any unemployed veteran with an honorable discharge.

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.


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