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Photo of Senator John Larson.

STATE SENATOR

Tim Larson

Getting Results

I want to share with you some positive news about Connecticut:

UTC Makes Major Investment in Connecticut

Earlier this month, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) cut the ribbon on its new $60 million Connecticut research hub in East Hartford. The new facility is a direct result of the state's effort to collaborate with UTC to accelerate Connecticut's innovation economy.

Pratt and Whitney logo.

This is a facility where research will produce and develop the kind of technological advances that we're seeing around the world.

Those who run the center say they haven't had any trouble recruiting talent.

"Half of our folks we hired in the last five years. They love being here," remarked Dr. David Parekh, the Director of the United Technologies Research Center during the ribbon cutting. "They put their roots in the community and they enjoy working together and they themselves are the ones recruiting others saying hey, come and work and come and join us and be a part of the innovation that's happening at UTC."
 

Major Ellington Agricultural Project Nearly Complete

Earlier this month, Oakridge Dairy in Ellington announced that its expansion project is almost complete.

On June 13th, Oakridge's cows were milked the first time in the farm's brand new state-of-the-art rotary milking parlor at its new facility.

dairy farm

The multi-million dollar project, spearheaded by Seth Bahler who has taken over management of his family's fifth generation business, has increased the number of cows the farm can house and milk and includes a dedicated medical wing to ensure the health and wellbeing of the animals on site.

Additionally, the expansion is expected to grow agricultural jobs in the region--as well as increase the business's local milk production to 25,000 gallons a day. Once the herd has fully been moved in to the new space, Oakridge will open its doors back up to tours, including an open house later this summer. You can keep up with the move by visiting their website or on social media.

Oakridge and its staff certainly deserve to be commended for leading the way when it comes to Connecticut's dairy industry in an environmentally sound way.

Protecting and Growing Tourism Jobs

Earlier this month, the legislature took an historic vote to protect and grow casino and tourism jobs in the State of Connecticut, at a time when MGM is pushing forward on construction of a new casino in Springfield, Mass.

By passing a bill to allow Connecticut’s two tribal nations which operate the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casinos to partner on a third satellite casino in East Windsor, the state will retain 9,300 existing jobs.

The East Windsor casino will also create 1,700 construction jobs, and 1,700 casino facility operation jobs—1,275 of which will be permanent, full time positions—and generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the State of Connecticut.

Amazon Creating Jobs in Connecticut

Amazon--the largest internet-based retailer in the world--has decided to expand its presence in Connecticut with the creation of a new state-of-the-art, 855,000 square-foot fulfillment center in North Haven. The company plans to spend $255 million on the project, where it will create 1,800 jobs at the new facility.

Amazon distribution facility

Connecticut's partnership with Amazon has already yielded thousands of jobs.

The company, which recently opened a fulfillment center in Windsor and a sorting center in Wallingford, currently employs approximately 2,000 people in Connecticut. With the addition of the North Haven facility, that number will increase to approximately 3,800 Connecticut-based employees.
 

A Transportation Lockbox

A strong, modernized infrastructure is central to a thriving economy. That's why I was happy to lead Senate passage of a constitutional amendment creating a transportation lockbox. A lockbox will ensure that funds intended to be used for transportation remain reserved for that use only.

When I speak with business leaders, they repeatedly stress the need for an upgraded transportation system. Businesses need a transportation infrastructure that provides reliability and consistency in order to grow and succeed.

I believe that creating a transportation lockbox is in the best interests of the fiscal health of Connecticut. Voters will have an opportunity to approve the ballot measure in 2018.
 

Connecticut Added 6,700 Jobs in May

Connecticut employers added 6,700 jobs to their payrolls in May and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent, new labor data shows.

Connecticut counted 11,000 more jobs last month--mostly in the private sector--than in May 2016, when the state's jobless rate was 5.3 percent.

Private education and health services led the state's seven of 10 job "supersectors'' recording gains last month.

While we have more work to do, this is encouraging news.
 

More Good News for Connecticut's Manufacturers

Sikorsky

Earlier this month more than 300 Connecticut precision manufacturers and subcontractors met for a networking session with Sikorsky Aircraft.

Last year, the Connecticut General Assembly approved a plan to help retain and grow approximately 8,000 jobs at Sikorsky Aircraft. This agreement will keep the Sikorsky headquarters in Connecticut, and increase investments in in-state suppliers.

Sikorsky

The United States Marines have ordered 200 of Sikorsky's CH-53 King Stallion helicopters. Most of that production will be done in-state, offering Connecticut suppliers an opportunity to contribute various parts and services. This is big news for small businesses in Connecticut.

Kaman Corp.

Bloomfield manufacturer Kaman Corp. reported this week that it will supply British jet-engine maker Rolls-Royce Plc with engine parts made in Bloomfield and other Kaman facilities.

Willington Nameplate

Willington Nameplate, a Stafford Springs manufacturer, is actively recruiting millennials and young adults for careers in manufacturing.

Asnuntuck Celebrates Opening of Advanced Manufacturing & Tech Center

On Monday, Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield celebrated the grand opening of the school's new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. Existing and new college students, middle and high school students, and adults will receive training on the skills needed to compete for 21st century manufacturing jobs.