200 Dept. of Defense helicopters to be built in CT

Lawmakers commented on bill to keep Sikorsky (WFSB)

The governor signed a bill that will help to keep Sikorsky headquartered in Connecticut for several years.

The Connecticut Strategic Defense Investment Act was signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport on Monday afternoon.

Several lawmakers reacted to the bill signing on Monday.

Gov. Dannel Malloy: “Connecticut is known internationally as a worldwide aerospace leader, and that is because of the strong number of aerospace manufacturers who call our state home in addition to the talented and robust workforce that provide these companies with a skilled aptitude that is second to none. This is a bold, forward-thinking agreement that will not only impact thousands of jobs directly at Sikorsky’s worldwide headquarters, but also will have an impact on the hundreds of small businesses who employ thousands more throughout the state and serve as suppliers to the company. Competition in today’s worldwide economic climate is fierce, and Connecticut is showing that we remain a valued leader where businesses can maintain a competitive edge well into the future.”

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian: “CSCU is committed to the state’s manufacturing sector through our Advanced Manufacturing programs and partnerships with the state’s manufacturing companies to deliver a highly skilled workforce. Connecticut benefits from a knowledgeable labor force, and in less than 10 months, CSCU’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers are successfully helping students launch careers in high-tech manufacturing jobs. Students emerging from these programs are already contributing to Connecticut’s economic growth today, and will continue to power our economy well into the future.”

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman: “Thanks to a talented leadership team and a deeply committed workforce, Sikorsky has a long history of being among the most elite aircraft manufacturers in the world. This legislation demonstrates our commitment to their continued success, and Connecticut’s continued economic growth. I applaud Governor Malloy’s leadership, the General Assembly, and the Sikorsky team on this important partnership.”

Members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation: “This deal helps to ensure Connecticut will continue to produce the best helicopters in the world," the members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation said in a joint statement. "We commend the State and Teamsters for their leadership in reaching this important agreement, and recognize the significant sacrifices made by Sikorsky’s skilled and talented workforce. Manufacturing and defense jobs are a vital component of our state’s economy, and we will stand united in doing whatever it takes to support those jobs here in Connecticut.”

Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven): “Connecticut is at its best when private industry, labor and government all work together to grow our economy for a sustainable future. Our agreement with Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin will not only benefit the 8,000 workers at Sikorsky, but the hundreds of small businesses and machine shops with thousands of workers across the entire supply chain.”

Catherine Smith, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development: “Signing this legislation today is an important step in strengthening the partnership between the state, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky. The new jobs and new investments in suppliers throughout the state will have long-term, lasting impacts on our state’s economy and improve our overall competitiveness."

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk): “In a global economy it is imperative that Connecticut position itself to compete for good-paying jobs. That’s why Connecticut is making smart investments to create jobs and grow our economy. This is part of our long-term strategy to continue building jobs for the future. It is the same strategy that secured biomedical companies like The Jackson Laboratory and Alexion Pharmaceuticals; media companies like NBC Sports and ESPN; and large, advanced manufacturers like Pratt & Whitney and Electric Boat.”

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven): “I applaud all lawmakers and state leaders who came together to keep a massive job creator here in Connecticut. This deal offers a strong return on our investment that will preserve jobs and grow economic development in our state. It should be recognized as a prudent agreement to help one of Connecticut’s biggest economic contributors and employers overcome challenges to remain in our state and expand business for the next generation.”

Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden): “Sikorsky Aircraft is synonymous with the economic heritage of our state, and Lockheed Martin’s long term commitment to grow their manufacturing operations right here in Connecticut instead of Florida or South Carolina reflects that our business climate continues to improve. Along with the 12,000 new jobs coming to Electric Boat and Pratt & Whitney, this is great news for our economy that will positively impact hundreds of other businesses, and thousands of hard working families throughout the state.”

House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin, Southington): “This agreement with Sikorsky is a great investment for Connecticut. Not only will it keep thousands of good paying jobs in Connecticut and benefit local suppliers throughout the state, it also serves as a testament to our skilled workforce, and the steps we are taking to continue to expand and improve our workforce training programs to better meet the needs of employers.”

State Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford, Shelton, Seymour, Monroe): “Today’s bill signing marks an important bipartisan effort to keep good-paying middle-class jobs here in the greater Stratford community. We have an incredibly talented workforce that builds helicopters better than anywhere else in the world. These efforts will help overcome the economic issues Sikorsky was facing so that we can maintain and expand the presence of one of our biggest local employers.”

State Sen. Carlo Leone (D-Stamford): “The agreement with Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky is a multi-decade deal that will insure thousands of Connecticut jobs, and boost our state's economy as we further strengthen our position as a hub of manufacturing expertise.”

State Sen. Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport): “Sikorsky is important to Connecticut’s economy and this agreement continues to strengthen, create and sustains jobs.”

State Rep. Betty Boukus (D-New Britain, Plainville): “New Britain and Plainville companies are key suppliers for Sikorsky. This economic good news reverberates across Connecticut.”

State Rep. Theresa Conroy (D-Beacon Falls, Derby, Seymour): “The Valley is celebrating the news of Sikorsky’s future in Connecticut. Our economy depends on a strong manufacturing sector and this investment is part of a greater commitment to advanced manufacturing.”

State Rep. Linda Gentile (D-Ansonia, Derby): “Sikorsky has been an important employer in the lower Naugatuck Valley for many years and I’m so glad the company is committed to our community. Construction of the CH-53K King Stallion in Connecticut allows Sikorsky to maintain access to experienced employees and reliable suppliers. Sikorsky is vital to the Valley’s economic stability and all of Connecticut.”

State Rep. Joe Gresko (D-Stratford): “The commitment by Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin to Connecticut continues the progress the state is making toward maintaining and expanding jobs. Now other businesses and potential businesses can consider growth with this new stability. I thank Governor Malloy and the state Department of Economic and Community Development for their work and I am happy for the employees who make us proud.”

State Rep. Kim Rose (D-Milford): “The commitment reached with Sikorsky, which includes strengthening their partnership with Connecticut suppliers, will benefit many local businesses including 27 in Milford that employ over 500 workers,” said. “Taking proactive steps to support the vitality of our businesses is definitely a step in the right direction and will contribute greatly to the economic stability of our state.”

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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