SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) – Manufacturing is booming in Connecticut and the biggest challenge is finding workers.

The state is working with companies to strengthen programs at community colleges and get the word out.

A local manufacturing company is trying to get more business and create more jobs.

Sign Pro started with one employee and they now have about 70. They want the state to change the way it does business with out of state companies.

Sign Pro’s president gave a tour of his company to the state’s Chief Manufacturing Officer, which was a position created last October by Governor Ned Lamont to encourage the companies to grow.

“We have a very talented staff here, they are a great team. They come to work every day, every one of them is a Connecticut resident,” said Peter Rappoccio, president of Sign Pro.

Sign Pro, a family-owned manufacturing business, has been around for 30 years. They make signs that are seen all over the state and the country.

The president supports legislation to help make Connecticut companies more competitive, instead of giving contracts to the lowest bidder. He would like Connecticut companies to get those contracts if they are in a competitive range.

Colin Cooper has been visiting companies all over the state. Last week, he was at Habco in Glastonbury, where they make parts for Aerospace. His focus is changing the way people think about manufacturing.

At Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, students are getting the training they need to fill jobs since more than 6,000 open every year.

“We have a number of challenges, but the one thing we have here is an exceptional workforce. That’s what we compete on and compete effectively around the world, so it’s great to see companies invest in their assets, which is all of you,” said Colin Cooper, Chief Manufacturing Officer.

The problem is Connecticut can’t fill these jobs fast enough, so companies are actively recruiting students and some companies help students pay for tuition if they choose to get an associate degree.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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