Gov. Malloy Signs Legislation That Will Keep Sikorsky’s Headquarters and Thousands of Jobs in the State

This article was published on: 11/1/16 8:57 PM by Mike Minarsky

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(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today held a ceremonial bill signing to commemorate the adoption of legislation that approves the state’s agreement with Lockheed Martin and will result in keeping Sikorsky Aircraft’s worldwide headquarters located in Stratford through at least 2032, where the company will retain and grow approximately 8,000 direct jobs.  As part of the agreement, Sikorsky has also pledged to nearly double its spending of $350 million per year among in-state suppliers.

Today’s ceremony was held at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, which is one of several community colleges in the state that have Advanced Manufacturing Technology Programs, where Connecticut students are obtaining the skills that will prepare them for good-paying manufacturing jobs that companies like Sikorsky need to compete in a 21st Century economy.

“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,” Governor Malloy said.  “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.”

“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,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said.  “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.”

The legislation was approved in the General Assembly by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 35-1 in the State Senate and 136-6 in the House of Representatives.  Several days later, Teamsters Union 1150 voted to approve the state’s agreement with Lockheed Martin.

The Governor thanked the leadership of both parties for coming together to approve the agreement, recognizing the direct impact that it will have on Sikorsky’s 8,000 employees, in addition to the thousands across the state who work for suppliers that have contracts with the company.

“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.”

“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,” said Catherine Smith, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

“Through the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers at the Connecticut Community Colleges, we aim to produce a highly skilled workforce to fill in-demand jobs at companies like Sikorsky,” Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian said.  “Our goal is to align programs with the needs of our employers to deliver the state’s manufacturing workforce of the future. Our students can earn a certificate in 10 months with 98 percent of graduates hired following graduation.”

“Connecticut is at its best when private industry, labor and government all work together to grow our economy for a sustainable future,” Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) said.  “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.”

“In a global economy it is imperative that Connecticut position itself to compete for good-paying jobs,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) said.  “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.”

“I applaud all lawmakers and state leaders who came together to keep a massive job creator here in Connecticut,” Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) said.  “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.”

“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,” Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) said.  “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.”

“This agreement with Sikorsky is a great investment for Connecticut,” House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin, Southington) said.  “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.”

“Today’s bill signing marks an important bipartisan effort to keep good-paying middle-class jobs here in the greater Stratford community,” State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford, Shelton, Seymour, Monroe) said.  “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.”

“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 Senator Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) said.

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

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

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

“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,” State Representative Linda Gentile (D-Ansonia, Derby) said.  “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 Representative Joe Gresko (D-Stratford) said, “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.”

“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,” State Representative Kim Rose (D-Milford) 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.”

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