OUR RECORD on JOB GROWTH
There’s no greater priority for Connecticut than growing and retaining high-quality jobs. During the past several years, Senate Democrats played a critical role in helping to pass legislation to do just that. Below are summaries of our work on this all-important issue over the past few years.
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.
Finally, at the end of this page you can review recent news of our initiatives to grow jobs.
Helping Business Development
- We formalized an agreement between United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and the state to promote aerospace innovation and retain and grow jobs. In exchange for redeeming previously earned tax credits, UTC will invest up to $500 million to upgrade and expand its aerospace research, development and manufacturing facilities over the next five years, and invest up to $4 billion in other capital expenditures in the state. The agreement will have a direct or indirect impact on more than 75,000 jobs in Connecticut.
- Social benefit corporations are rapidly making their way across the country as an alternative model to traditional corporations who are obligated to make ‘profit’ their only mission. In 2014 Connecticut became the 18th state to pass legislation establishing “B Corps” as an alternative business model. Connecticut now provides a legal framework for forming a for-profit corporation that simultaneously pursues both social benefits and shareholder profits.
- The STEP-Up program has been extremely successful across our state. In 2014 we added $10 million in additional funding to help small businesses hire more workers. The program subsidizes new employees (previously unemployed workers) for a 6-month period, gradually phasing out the subsidy during that time. Last year, close to 90 percent of workers hired using funds from STEP-Up continued on the job after the six-month period.
- We’re supporting veterans who have encountered barriers entering the civilian workplace after returning from service where they learn employable skills. A new law requires that state licensing authorities accept military training and experience, where appropriate, as a substitute for additional training, and will allow veterans to gain streamlined occupational certifications.
Growing New Markets by Establishing a Statewide Port Authority
- We created the Connecticut Port Authority as a quasi-public agency to coordinate the development and marketing of state ports. The new Port Authority will be charged with coordinating the state’s port development, pursuing federal and state funds for dredging and other infrastructure improvements to increase cargo movement through the ports, and marketing the advantages of ports to the domestic and international shipping industry. Prior to its formation a port authority working group will submit recommendations to the Department of Economic and Community Development on the authority’s powers and duties.
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
In 2013 we kicked off the Next Generation Connecticut initiative to train thousands more young people every year to fill highly skilled jobs in the important “STEM” fields: 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
In 2013 we established a task force to review military occupational training experience and determine if any such training would be equivalent to that required for state licensing purposes. In 2014 (see above) the task force’s recommendations led to successful legislation to help our veterans find a job when they come home by putting their existing skills to work.
A Successful Jobs Agenda
- 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 2011 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, were made available to state businesses for new job creation incentives, increasing financial assistance for small businesses and for training assistance.
- 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; this expansion of the program specifically helps veterans.
- Creating a ‘Connecticut Treasures’ program. Connecticut has a wealth of educational and tourist destinations, and under our legislation the DECD commissioner consulted 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 was done within available appropriations.
- 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 U.S. to Connecticut.
RESOURCES to GROW JOBS
Below are brief descriptions and links to resources in Connecticut to grow jobs. We’ve organized them by size and type of employer, from small businesses to larger employers and entrepreneurs.
If you are seeking employment, visit our special Jobseekers Resource page on this site. www.senatedems.ct.gov/Jobs
Resources for All Businesses
Department of Labor (DOL)
The DOL assists both workers and employers to become competitive in the global economy with programs that include job training, employer seminars, job fairs and more. www.ctdol.state.ct.us
Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD)
DECD is the state’s lead agency for the development and implementation of policies, strategies and programs that support business growth and innovation. They offer a wide range of programs and services to help companies prosper in Connecticut—financing, tax credits and incentives, site selection services and workforce training support. www.ct.gov/ecd
STEP-Up for Vets
The Unemployed Armed Forces Member Subsidized Training and Employment Program is designed to help former military combat personnel find new employment. The expanded armed forces program is similar to the STEP-Up wage subsidy program except that it is open to any company, regardless of size.
Resources for Small Businesses
(under 100 employees)
Resources for Small Business Express
The Small Business Express Program (EXP) provides loans and grants to Connecticut’s small business to spur job creation and growth. Employers who are looking for assistance in getting access to capital and providing incentive loan and grant funds to create jobs are encouraged to apply.
The Subsidized Training and Employment Program (STEP-Up) is an initiative of the Connecticut Department of Labor and the state’s five Workforce Investment Boards. STEP-Up features two types of hiring incentives for eligible employers: A scaled, six-month Wage Subsidy and a Small Manufacturing training grant. Each program offers employer incentives to hire new employees and create jobs. Eligible companies can apply for one program for each new hire.
Job Expansion Tax Credit Program (JET)
Connecticut businesses can be eligible for tax credits of $500 per month for each new full-time job created. If the new employee is receiving vocational rehabilitative services from the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, receiving unemployment benefits, or is a veteran employee who, at the time of hiring by the taxpayer, is a member of, was honorably discharged from or released under honorable conditions from active service in the armed forces, then the tax credit is increased to $900 per month. http://tinyurl.com/ctjetcredit
Resources for Medium-Sized Businesses
Manufacturers Assistance Act (MAA)
This program provides low-interest loans and incentive-driven direct loans for projects when there is a strong economic development potential. Funding may be used for purchase of equipment, furniture and fixtures, construction, leasehold improvements, training and other eligible project-related activities. Follow this link on the DECD website or contact Michele Peters at 860-270-8052.
Resources for Large Businesses
(over 250 employees)
Support for companies that create 200 jobs within 2 years or invest at least $25 million and create 200 jobs within 5 years. Businesses interested in the First Five program can contact Ron Angelo at DECD at 860-270-8020.
Resources for Entrepreneurs
Connecticut Innovations (CI)
Mavericks, thought leaders, creative geniuses, those who don’t think anywhere near the box—these are the types of people who work with Connecticut Innovations. They most often include: business owners, entrepreneurs, lenders, advanced manufacturers and developers. www.ctinnovations.com
Angel Investor Tax Credit Program
A tax credit for angel investors with a cash investment of $25,000 or more in a qualified Connecticut business. The credit shall be equal to 25 percent of the investor’s cash investment. Total tax credits allowed shall not exceed $250,000 for any angel investor. Qualified businesses must apply to Connecticut Innovations and be approved to be eligible for a tax credit. www.ctinnovations.com/angels
CTNext equips startups and entrepreneurs with resources, guidance and networks to accelerate growth and success. ctnext.com