February 9, 2016

DECD highlights business helped in annual report

The state Department of Economic and Community Development is lauding its job-creation and job-retention efforts as well as return on investment in its 2015 annual report.

The 165-page report said 1,816 companies have been assisted during the Malloy administration with 18,012 new jobs brought to Connecticut and 72,799 jobs retained. DECD said $2.7 billion has been leveraged to grow jobs and expand the economy.

DECD said one of the biggest news items of 2015 took root in 2014 when a new strategic partnership was struck between the state and United Technologies Corp. Overall is expected to have an impact on more than 75,000 Connecticut jobs.

Over the next few years, UTC will invest up to $500 million to upgrade and expand its aerospace research, development and manufacturing facilities, and expects to invest up to $4 billion in research and other capital expenditures in the state.

The DECD said the first signs of this investment were seen in June. Governor Malloy joined officials at the United Technology Research Center in East Hartford to break ground for a new 100,000-square-foot building that will house new lab and office space. The project, which is part of an overall $50 million investment, should help UTRC become the model research center of the future.

DECD and Governor Malloy also announced in 2015 that AMCO Precision Tool Inc., a leader in the aerospace and commercial parts machining industry, planned to expand its manufacturing operations in Berlin to support a $160 million contract over the next 20 years. The state provided a $2.1 million loan in support of the project, which will retain 34 employees and create up to 25 new positions within six years.

The DECD also said one of its primary tools used to strengthen Connecticut's small businesses is the Small Business Express Program (EXP), created in the 2011 Jobs Bill. In 2015, it provided 1,171 companies with $173 million to help retain 13,307 jobs and create 4,543 more.

Also in 2015, DECD's Office of Film, Television & Digital Media partnered with the University of Connecticut to launch Digital Media CT, a new training program designed for individuals with a demonstrated interest in digital media seeking to develop the basic skills necessary for entry-level work in the industry.

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