Norm Needleman


Norm Needleman



September 13, 2022

Senator Needleman Joins State, Federal Leaders For Birdon Manufacturing Facility Opening

Today, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) joined Governor Ned Lamont, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Congressman John Larson for the opening of Birdon’s new manufacturing facility in Portland. The officials took a tour of the facility, including seeing Birdon’s 47′ motor lifeboat U.S. Coast Guard rescue vessels in the process of refurbishment.

“Connecticut’s manufacturing industry plays such a vital role in our state’s economy, employing countless people and protecting the strengths of our military,” said Sen. Needleman. “Birdon is doing great work to support the Coast Guard and our local communities. I’m proud to stand alongside my fellow officials to celebrate the opening of their new facility. It’s a testament to the local business community and our state’s workforce that Birdon has found such success.”

The officials’ visit and tour of the new facility underscores efforts to support Connecticut’s manufacturing industry in recent years, most prominently new efforts to invest in the state’s manufacturing workforce. Sen. Needleman was among legislators who voted to create programs aiding the manufacturing workforce pipeline, connecting workers with training and education opportunities allowing them to join the industry.

The company’s work with the military plays an important role in protecting American bodies of water and will save lives through its assistance to the Coast Guard, allowing military members to better carry out missions with effective and efficient vehicles at their disposal. Refurbishing the boats also aids reduction of costs for the military, helping save taxpayer dollars while retaining security standards.

Birdon is a group of companies based in Australia specializing in the maritime, military, infrastructure and resource sectors, focused on project management and delivery. The company currently employs 200 at its Portland location and additional facilities in Colorado and Washington.

Earlier this year, Birdon paid $5.3 million for 31 acres of marina properties along Portland’s stretch of the Connecticut River, and may potentially invest a further $10 million into the site in the next three years. The marina would be upgraded to accommodate dry docking, refurbishment and relaunching of the 47′ Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat rescue vessels. Under a 10-year, $220 million contract with the Coast Guard, Birdon will engineer, procure and refurbish up to 117 rescue vessels, with half or more of those vessels worked on in Portland. These marina investments would also restore the facility as a commercial location for recreational boating. With Middletown making similar improvements to local marinas, conditions and access along the Connecticut River will be bolstered for the public.