Malloy reacts after Optimum closes CT facilities, Rogers Corp. m - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Malloy reacts after Optimum closes CT facilities, Rogers Corp. moves global headquarters out of state

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SHELTON, CT (WFSB) -

Hundreds of people in Connecticut are losing their jobs.

Optimum, whose parent company recently took over Cablevision, consolidated to offices in New York and New Jersey and with the consolidation, the company is laying off nearly 600 people.   

The Shelton call center and Stratford closures could represent some of the largest mass layoffs in the state.

The closure comes as the Rogers Corporation announced its re-locating its headquarters to Arizona.  

With Optimum, some said it’s disappointing but not surprising. The effect of the Optimum, which is a telecommunications company, closure is expected to impact downtown shops and restaurants near the Shelton call center.   

"It should have been expected. They acquired Cablevision for $17 billion,” David Cadden, who is business professor at Quinnipiac University, said. “Some people say they paid a significant premium."

Cadden said he believes the company took on significant debt, which is forcing Altice, the parent company, to drastically reduce its work force.

The company said "we continue to employee hundreds of people in the state of Connecticut" and "these changes have to do with strengthening our operations in the nation’s most competitive market."

Eyewitness News also learned the Rogers Corporation near Killingly is laying off people as well. Seventy will be losing their jobs when the company re-locates its headquarters to Chandler, Az. Although the company will keep its manufacturing in Connecticut.

The company said the move "supports the company's long-term strategy" and is an "integral part of its plans for growth and expansion." 

"One of the trends you begin to see in the United States is that many companies are relocating their corporate headquarters, but they are relocating them in urban centers much as GE did with Boston," Cadden said. 

Connecticut has been slow to rebound from the recession. The unemployment rate a year ago was 5.5 percent. The most recent numbers show 5.8 percent, however 13,000 jobs have been created over the year.

"It's trying to figure out the difference between normal economic activity and something you have to be worried about," Joe Brenna with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association said. "That your state is being looked at as not a good place to be. That's been our challenge over the past few years."

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association said one of its big focuses this year will be to support candidates running for office who are pro-business and are aggressive when it comes to attracting more companies to our state.   

As the state is trying to regain jobs lost in the recession, Gov. Dannel Malloy said this is a month we need to monitor.

"Connecticut has had a good number of years in a row of job growth,” Malloy said. “We created 100,000 jobs this year alone."

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) called the closure of the call center in Shelton “absolutely devastating.”

“You can’t tell me that these events have nothing to do with Connecticut’s economy, or that they will have no effect on the already challenging situations our families are facing. They mean less economic development here. They mean more people out of work clamoring for the limited amount of jobs available,” Fasano said in a statement on Tuesday.

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