May 23, 2016

Gerratana Holds “Business Breakfast” With Four Local Business Owners

Businesses spoke about successes and struggles operating in New Britain and how the Senator can help them grow and thrive

photo of Senator Gerratana

NEW BRITAIN, CT—Senator Terry Gerratana sat down for breakfast at New Britain Diner with the heads of some of the 6th Senate District’s most important employers. Representatives from Turbine Technologies, Victory Energy Solutions, Polar Corporation, The John Boyle company, and Pape Electroplating were present to speak candidly about the recent experiences as growing businesses in the Greater New Britain region.

“These businesses are a driving force behind our local economy and important neighbors in our community,” said Senator Gerratana. “It’s important to me that we can have these candid conversations about what can be done to improve Connecticut’s business climate. I was happy with the positive response and look forward to doing this again.”

Several of the business owners volunteered that they have seen the impact of Connecticut’s recent focus on improving its technical schools. They said that a few years ago it would be difficult to find job candidates who had been trained and certified in industrial arts. Connecticut’s investments in technical high schools and manufacturing programs at Asnuntuck and other community colleges have greatly improved the state’s workforce, and the businesses reported they have no trouble finding entry-level employees who are trained and ready to go to work.

The businesses have said they would like to see more students graduating with training in advanced industrial arts such as geometric dimensioning and programming. Last year Senator Gerratana joined her colleagues in the General Assembly to pass legislation that ensures all Connecticut students receive an education in programming and computer science. These skills are vital in manufacturing and are also highly useful to any person looking for improvement in the 21st Century economy.

Most of the businesses attending the breakfast with Senator Gerratana have participated in the state’s Small Business Express program. This program offers grants and loans that can be used to purchase or lease machinery, expand operations, relocate within Connecticut, or for use as working capital. These funds are provided to businesses that are able to create new jobs and retain existing ones while growing their business. The businesses reported good experiences with the program, but would like the state to help them gain access to more capital.

Following the meeting, Senator Gerratana and the business leaders agreed to stay in touch and continue holding these meetings on a regular basis.