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Larson, Gov. Malloy, CT Congressional Delegation Announce Connecticut’s Aerospace and Shipbuilding Industry Receives Federal Designation to Accelerate Resurgence of Manufacturing Opportunities

July 8, 2015
Press Release

Hartford, CT - U.S. Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State of Connecticut has successfully been designated by the Obama Administration under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative.  With this designation, Connecticut will receive coordinated support from eleven federal agencies with access to more than $1 billion in federal funding dedicated to economic development and the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States.  Connecticut is one of 12 applicants to earn the designation.

IMCP is a federal program designed to strengthen manufacturing capabilities nationwide by supporting states with long-term economic development strategies.

"Connecticut has a long history on the frontlines of manufacturing innovation and development-driven in large part by our universities, community colleges, and technical schools," Congressman John Larson said.  "This ecosystem of small and large manufactures, academia, and groups like the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology leaves Connecticut uniquely qualified to train the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.  I was so proud to visit Goodwin College with Vice President Biden to showcase how our schools continue to prepare students for exciting jobs in advanced manufacturing.  With this IMCP designation, Connecticut can continue to grow its workforce and push into new frontiers in the aerospace and shipbuilding industries."

"This federal designation recognizes - and strengthens - Connecticut's leadership position in advanced manufacturing, specifically in our aerospace and shipbuilding industries," Governor Malloy said.  "With this designation and the federal funds supporting economic development programs in manufacturing, the state can accelerate and enhance our initiatives to boost innovation, worker skills, supply chain capabilities, infrastructure investment and job creation."

Connecticut was chosen largely based on the strength of its aerospace and defense shipbuilding industries for more than 100 years.  Homegrown companies such as Pratt & Whitney and Electric Boat have helped contribute to the development of these industries, and today there is strong industry collaboration that will be a key to future economic and job growth.  Leveraging the strong capabilities of our universities and entities like CCAT, the smaller supply chain companies that reside in the state also are seeing tremendous benefits from locating in the state.

In addition, the state was recognized for its comprehensive economic development plan for this sector that delineates the roles that individual communities and public-private partnerships play in carrying out the strategy.  The plan focuses on five areas in particular: building supplier networks; building a pipeline of capable workers for the future; infrastructure and site development; increasing trade and investment; and improving manufacturing operations and access to capital.

"This designation - one of only 12 nationwide - is a powerful recognition of the ingenuity and vitality of Connecticut's aerospace and shipbuilding industry and its skilled and talented workforce," U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said.  "This federal designation - with our support - will help ensure that our vital manufacturing community continues to expand and innovate with the support of strong educational partnerships, cross-industry collaboration and outreach.  The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership designation brings with it strategic federal guidance and access to new programs and funding opportunities.  I will continue to work closely with manufacturers in the region to ensure the success and this promising partnership."

"Manufacturing is the backbone of our state's economy, and today is a testament to the continued success and potential of our aerospace and shipbuilding industries," U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said.  "Last year, we joined with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development to seek this designation because we knew it would help us win more federal grants, job training dollars, and new business opportunities at home and abroad.  The Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership designation is great news for Connecticut manufacturing jobs, and I look forward to working with the Governor, Commissioner Smith, the entire congressional delegation, and manufacturers both small and large across our state to take advantage of this exciting new partnership."

Congressman Joe Courtney said, "Thanks to concerted efforts among our community colleges, companies, officials, and workforce board, Eastern Connecticut's Manufacturing Pipeline is delivering workers with top-quality training and skills to our region's advanced manufacturers, as we demonstrated to Labor Secretary Perez during his recent visit. Electric Boat and companies in the submarine supply chain need a workforce with the skills to produce some of the most advanced submarines in the world, and as demand grows, this strategy will continue to pay dividends for our state's economy."

"I recently met with the New England Council, and they said the number one concern for New England manufacturers is whether they are going to have an educated work force. At the same time, I hear from families who are worried about whether their kids will have jobs," said Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty. "This federal designation invests in Connecticut workers by allowing us to do a better job connecting the dots to further grow our cutting edge manufacturing community. We need to keep investing in our most important resource - our people."

"As the 'Arsenal of the Republic,' Connecticut has a long and proud history in manufacturing," Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said.  "Establishment of the Connecticut Advanced Manufacturing Communities Region will help promote our talented workforce and entrepreneurial businesses.  Congratulations to the Department of Economic and Community Development for leading this effort.  I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor."

"It is my sincere belief that, given the proper training and resources, Connecticut workers can out-build and out-compete the rest of the world," Congressman Jim Himes said.  "It is a testament to the cooperative work between local government, businesses, community leaders and others that Connecticut was recognized with this designation.  It is another step forward toward revitalizing our communities and our state, and I am proud of the hard work that went into getting us to this point."

Leaders in government, academia, business community and nonprofit organizations were vital partners contributing to the plan and will be partners in its successful implementation.