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Photo of Senator Beth Bye.

STATE SENATOR

Beth Bye

Investing In & Growing Connecticut's Talent

Good News on the Jobs Front! UTC to Hire 2,000 More in CT by 2021

On Wednesday, Greg Hayes, the CEO of Farmington-based United Technologies Corporation, announced that over the next five years UTC plans to hire 35,000 workers in America, including hiring 2,000 new employees in Connecticut and hiring 7,000 more in Connecticut to replace anticipated retirements.

That's certainly very good news for Connecticut, where manufacturing jobs have been growing by leaps and bounds over the past year.

UTC growing its workforce by 11 percent in Connecticut over the next three years means that Connecticut has to make a commensurate investment in its higher education system to help prepare our students for these and other high-tech manufacturing jobs, which are growing by leaps and bounds in the state. I remember last year at this time UTC was opening its brand-new $60 million research center in East Hartford, and that came a couple years after UTC said it’s investing half a billion dollars in research and manufacturing here in Connecticut by 2020. So the jobs are there, and they’re growing; now we have to do our part to properly prepare the next-generation workforce.

UTC

According to the May 2018 Connecticut Department of Labor report, manufacturing jobs in Connecticut are now at one of their highest levels since December 2011, with 162,900 people employed in the Connecticut's manufacturing sector.

That was the largest year-to-year percentage increase--2.8 percent growth--of any of the 10 industry job sectors in Connecticut.

The Labor Department also reported that hourly wages in Connecticut's manufacturing sector are now $33 an hour, which is also the highest average hourly earnings increase of any Connecticut industry sector over the past year.

And Connecticut's current unemployment rate of 4.5 percent is also at its lowest level since July 2007.

Hayes said Wednesday--and I agree--that part of UTC's growth plan relies on having access to an educated, trained pool of local talent, people who can design, make and market UTC's portfolio of jet engines, aerospace components, air heaters/chillers and elevators.

I want to let you know that we've already started that process in Connecticut. In the most recent bipartisan budget passed in May, I and other members of the legislature authorized $50 million for the Apprenticeship Connecticut Initiative, which will place 10,000 residents in good jobs in key employment sectors over the next four years.

The state has had a good relationship with UTC and a host of other major manufacturers for a long time. I am committed to growing and retaining the good, high-quality jobs that Connecticut needs to attract and retain families for the long run, and UTC's latest investment in Connecticut is evidence of that ongoing commitment of mine.