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Photo of Senator Cathy Osten.

STATE SENATOR

Cathy Osten

Getting Results

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.

I spent much of the past year advocating for state assistance and job-training funds for our growing submarine industry down in southeastern Connecticut, so I know how important any announcement is regarding more manufacturing jobs and the need for a trained workforce.

Manufacturing jobs are coming back big-time to Connecticut, and we’ve done a lot in the legislature over the last few years to make that possible, including our agreement with UTC four years ago that swapped some unused tax credits for their $500 million investment in the state. But we have to continue working with state manufacturers and our local high schools and community colleges to make sure we’re dovetailing our state job-training policies with this new economic reality. It’s kind of a nice challenge to have.

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.