Growing Connecticut Jobs

Resources for Growing Jobs

If you are a Connecticut business looking to grow jobs, these resources may be of interest to you:

  • Job Expansion Tax Credits for small businesses:
  • Small Business Express to get funding for your small business:
  • STEP-Up (Subsidized Training & Employment Programs) provides worker training subsidies for small businesses and small manufacturers:

Seeking Employment?

We have a special Jobseekers Resource page on this site. But two good places to start are:

Senate Democrats’ Grow Jobs

There’s no greater priority for Connecticut than growing and retaining high-quality jobs. During the past four legislative sessions and the 2011 October special session, Senate Democrats played a critical role in helping to pass a number of job-generating bills. We know there’s more work to be done; and we’re continuing to press on with new legislation designed to help businesses and promote continued job growth.

Below you'll find summaries of our work on this all-important issue in the current session and in the past several years.

2014 -|-  2013 -|-  2012

The General Assembly also passed a major energy reform bill in 2011 that lowers electric rates for businesses and creates high-quality jobs.

Finally, at the end of this page you can review recent news of our initiatives to grow jobs.

2014 Jobs & Business Agenda

Senate & House Leadership Proposal for Job Growth

The Democratic House and Senate jobs and business agenda for the 2014 session focuses on employment and job training, cutting red tape, growing new markets by expanding state ports, and helping businesses grow near university campuses and fight baseless patent lawsuits.

Workforce Development

  • Re-capitalize Connecticut’s highly successful STEP-Up program, which offers employers who hire an unemployed worker either a wage subsidy to help pay a new employee’s salary for the first six months, or provides a six-month training grant. Since its creation in October 2011, more than 2,000 unemployed people have been hired under STEP-Up in jobs like CNC operators, graphic designers, tool makers, welders, press operators, masons and engine builders. But the program needs a new infusion of capital; the original $20 million budget is down to $2.5 million, approximately enough to meet program demand through April.
  • Implement new school-to-job programs such as: an accelerated certificate program (12 months) combining basic education and technical and career training; an I-Best program for adult students lacking a GED which combines GED preparation with real-world skills training; and an Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Program where students combine paid work and college level study towards the attainment of an associate’s degree.
  • Continue entrepreneurial tax incentives such as the Angel Investor Tax Credit and the Insurance Reinvestment Tax Credit.

Cutting Red Tape

  • Pre-permitting business development, renovation or new construction by pre-approving zoning and environmental reviews in order to save businesses time and money. The program would be based on New York’s ‘Empire State Development’s Build Now,’ where communities select and prepare sites for specifically targeted economic development, reducing the time normally needed to develop a site.
  • Establish a procedure for transferring and selling Brownfield Redevelopment properties that begins with the state cleaning up selected brownfield sites and then marketing them to private developers (presently, the state must identify a potential interest in a site before it begins remediation.) In addition to these selected sites, provide funding for state and municipally owned brownfield properties to conduct remediation studies to determine the potential hazards and costs associated with their cleanup and develop a plan for their remediation.

Growing New Markets by Establishing a Statewide Port Authority

  • Create a quasi-public agency, similar to the new state airport authority, to coordinate the development of the Bridgeport, New Haven and New London ports, seek federal and state funds for dredging and infrastructure improvements, market the ports to the domestic and international shipping industry, and develop strategic entrepreneurial activities. A 2012 market analysis of Connecticut ports revealed four existing business lines in need of retention and expansion efforts by the state (liquid bulk, private ferry services, ship repair services and dry bulk cargoes) as well four niche cargo opportunities for new business lines: scrap metal exports from New Haven, wood pellet exports from New London, break bulk lumber, copper, and steel imports to New Haven or New London, and fresh food imports to New Haven and New London.

Helping Business Development

  • Establish ‘social benefit corporations,’ a new type of corporation intended to use a portion of its profits to benefit society or the environment without fear of shareholder action. 16 states have enacted b-corp legislation, including Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Examples of b-corps include AND1 athletic clothing, Cabots Creamery, King Arthur Flour, Seventh Generation household products and Patagonia clothing.
  • Protect businesses from ‘patent trolls,’ law firms or individuals who neither make a product nor perform a service, but who allege they are enforcing a patent that they did not file and which they are now seeking usage fees for. Just last year, a patent troll tried to sue a company in Old Lyme, claiming the owner owed them money every time they scanned and e-mailed a document from their office copier.
  • Expand business enterprise zones to include incentives for businesses to locate on or near university campuses in order to take advantage of university resources and create jobs.


2014 Jobs and Business Agenda

January 14, 2014 —Democratic legislative leaders unveil their jobs and business agenda for the 2014 session.

2013 Accomplishments

Extension of Small Business Express

Democrats and Republicans in the Senate unanimously approved authorizing existing funds to extend the Small Business Express Program which has helped hundreds of Connecticut businesses create and retain more than 7,000 jobs. Created in 2011 as part of the bipartisan Jobs Bill, the Small Business Express provides matching grants and loans under a streamlined application process to Connecticut-based businesses with fewer than 100 employees that meet other criteria.

Read the bill analysis: SB 801

Investing in Connecticut’s Next Generation Economy

Connecticut has a proud history as a world leader in technological innovation, from the invention of anesthesia to the first submarine and the first helicopter. In an increasingly competitive world, we need to reclaim that spirit of innovation to stimulate economic growth and create good jobs. This year we kicked off the Next Generation Connecticut initiative, which will train thousands more young people every year to fill highly skilled jobs in the important “STEM” fi elds: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Building on the success of the UConn 2000 program, which transformed the University of Connecticut into the leading institution it is today, Next Generation Connecticut will invest $1.5 billion to help the university hire innovative faculty, build new state-of-the-art facilities and enroll thousands of additional students. This investment will equip the university to conduct innovative research in partnership with our state’s leading companies and industries, helping to develop their next generation of products.

Read the bill analysis: SB 840

Helping Veterans Put Their Skills to Work

With the goal of aiding veterans in securing employment, this bill establishes a task force that will be responsible for reviewing military occupational training experience and determine if any such training is equivalent to that required for state licensing purposes. Our veterans could use some help finding a job when they come home, and this legislation will help them put their existing skills to work.


Marking One Year of Success with Small Business Express

August 1, 2013 —Senator LeBeau visits Ti-Trikes in South Windsor to mark the company’s growth over the last year after receiving financial assistance through the state’s Small Business Express program.

2012 Focus on Jobs

Our Jobs Agenda for 2012

Once again citing job growth as the top priority for Senate Democrats in 2012, Democratic senators championed a jobs plan that was passed in June of that year. The plan has helped local, small businesses protect and grow jobs and boost Connecticut’s economy.

Our legislation builds on the momentum created by the comprehensive and far-reaching bipartisan jobs bill we passed during October’s Special Session on Jobs and the Economy.

The Senate Democrats’ 2012 Jobs Plan included:

  1. Senator Steve Cassano talks with an employee of Empire Industries in Manchesterduring a tour of the 55,000 square-foot facility that manufacturers pipe hangers. In the past year, Empire has added new equipment and hired more than a dozen new employees.Expanding the definition of a ‘small business’ from 50 employees to 100 employees, thereby making them eligible for the Small Business Express and other programs created during the October special session. More than 3,600 additional businesses became eligible for $100 million in state-funded business loans and grants under the expanded definition. The funds, divided over two years, are available to state businesses for new job creation incentives, increasing financial assistance for small businesses and for training assistance.
      Small businesses (100 or fewer employees) are real job creators in Connecticut, employing over 60 percent of the state’s total workforce. The Small Business Express Program supports the retention and growth of small business in Connecticut through a combination of loans and grants, incorporating a streamlined process that provides financial assistance in the form of revolving loan funds, job creation incentives and matching grants.
  2. Senator Carlo Leone, co-chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, thanked the 100 employers that were participating at the annual Heroes 4 Hire career fair at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.Expanding STEP-Up (Subsidized Training and Employment Program) to give businesses incentive grants to hire post-9/11 combat veterans returning from overseas. The STEP-Up program already promotes job creation and worker opportunity for Connecticut small businesses and the unemployed by subsidizing certain new employee training and employment with $30 million in state aid over two years; the proposed expansion of the program would specifically help veterans.
      It was recently reported that nationally, the average unemployment rate for veterans aged 20 to 24 is 30 percent, more than double the unemployment rate of non-veterans of the same age. According to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans in Connecticut in 2010 was 15.5 percent, compared with 11.5 percent nationally. For all veterans, the unemployment figure in Connecticut in 2010 was 9.2 percent, compared with 8.7 percent nationally.
  3. State Senator Paul Doyle listens as Max Baldwin, owner of family-owned Baldwin Lawn Furniture in Middletown talks about the 'Connecticut Made' marketing campaign that will boost local businesses and the economy.Creating a ‘Connecticut Made’ marketing campaign to spur local businesses, both production and retail. The campaign would be administered by the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), which would (within available appropriations) provide for the design, planning, and implementation of a multiyear, state-wide marketing and advertising plan that includes television and radio advertisements showcasing Connecticut-made products and the advantages they offer; establish and continuously update an associated website that lists Connecticut manufacturers, the products they make, and the retailers that sell them; help Connecticut manufacturers and producers access the appropriate economic development organizations; and foster contacts and relationships between businesses making or producing Connecticut products and retailers, marketers, chambers of commerce, regional tourism districts, and other potential institutional customers (i.e. , program stakeholders).
  4. Senator Andrew Maynard outlines the details of the new Connecticut Treasures tourism promotion program at Mystic Aquarium, as beluga whales drift by in the background.Creating a ‘Connecticut Treasures’ program. Connecticut has a wealth of educational and tourist destinations, and under our legislation the DECD commissioner shall consult with the Culture and Tourism Advisory Committee to develop a program to designate locations in the state with cultural, educational, or historical significance as “Connecticut Treasures”. This program will include a “CT Treasures Passport”, which will provide free or reduced admission to these locations for children younger than 18 who are accompanied by an adult. This program will be done within available appropriations.
  5. First Five Plus Expansion. Under current law, the DECD commissioner can give preference to specific business development projects. This legislation expands the preference to projects that involve “insourcing” or the relocation of jobs outside the US to Connecticut.


One Year Anniversary of Landmark Bipartisan Jobs Bill

October 15, 2012 — Senator Meyer joined Louis Sweady, owner of Royal Printing Services in Guilford, to mark the one year anniversary of the passage of Connecticut’s landmark bipartisan Jobs Bill. Royal Printing was able to hire and train a veteran through the STEP-Up program which was part of the historic jobs bill.

Restoring Our Farmlands to Grow Jobs

August 31, 2012 — Senator Cassano tours Dondero Orchards, a four-generation family farm in Glastonbury and recipient of a $20,000 state grant for farmland restoration. The state funds are helping the Dondero family preserve the tradition of local farming and grow jobs.

Investing in Our Small Businesses

August 3, 2012 — A grant from the Small Business Express program helps Connecticut Valley Bindery buy new equipment and create jobs. Senator Gerratana toured the company’s manufacturing facility in New Britain to see firsthand how the grant is helping his family owned business thrive and hire.

Recent News on Growing Connecticut Jobs


Bartolomeo Joins Governor Malloy, Local Officials to Announce Middletown Riverfront Redevelopment Project


Ayala Welcomes Federal Investment in Manufacturing Programs at Community Colleges


Governor Malloy, Senator Duff Help Launch New $46 Million Norwalk Housing/Retail Project


Slossberg: Waterfront Commercial Development Coming to West Haven


Ayala and Malloy Announce Brownfield Remediation Projects to Transform Bridgeport


Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney Receives Champion of Small Business Award from the National Coalition for Capital


Doyle Visits the Next Generation of Connecticut’s Workforce


Cassano Tours Glastonbury Aquaponic Start-Up That Won $12,000 State Grant


Slossberg and Holder-Winfield Highlight West Haven’s Summer Youth Employment Program


Leone: State to Support Relocation of Vineyard Vines Headquarters in Stamford


Musto: State of Connecticut Working Hand in Hand With Local Employer to Create Careers and Grow Business in Bridgeport


Leone Welcomes Major Employer Bringing Hundreds of Jobs to Stamford


As Hurricane Season Approaches Local Business Works With STEP-Up Program to Keep Up With Demand


Doyle: STEP-Up Program Bringing Jobs and Career Training to the Unemployed in Newington


Osten Visits Small Business Success Story at Miranda Creative


Ayala: Park City Green Creating Green Jobs and Cleaning Up Connecticut


Bartolomeo Congratulates Middlefield Manufacturer for Presidential Export Award


Leone Welcomes Expansion of Starwood Hotels Worldwide in Stamford


2014 Legislative Session: Senate Democrats Act to Grow Jobs, Expand Pre-K, Protect Consumers


Bartolomeo: Bill Will Connect Connecticut’s Veterans With Jobs


Leone: Pitney Bowes Expansion Plan Moves Forward


Duff: Datto, Inc. to Expand and Create at Least 100 Jobs in Norwalk


Leone: Applango USA Joins Stamford Innovation Center, Creates Jobs


Bartolomeo: FEMA Investment Critical to Efforts to Stem Flooding That Plagues Downtown Meriden


LeBeau Leads Committee Passage of Bill to Track Local Hiring By Businesses Receiving State Grants


Ayala: Community Career Fair Matches Jobseekers with Employers


Leone Proposes Incubator Initiative for Small CT Food Businesses


Lt. Gov. Wyman and Sen. Duff Tour Norwalk’s Ola! Foods and The Wall Street Theater


Fonfara: Top Accounting and Consulting Firm Growing Jobs in Hartford


Musto and Ayala Announce State Support to Grow Minority-Owned Businesses in Bridgeport


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