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June 6, 2016

Importance of manufacturing jobs touted at P&W roundtable

EAST HARTFORD — State, local, and federal officials joined Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at Pratt & Whitney on Friday to discuss the progress and future of manufacturing jobs in Connecticut.

“We’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time,” Malloy said, adding that there is an awareness of the state’s advanced manufacturing engineering requirements.

Through education reform, there are now stronger engineering programs and the state is seeing its highest graduation rates ever, Malloy said. 

“You can change direction,” he said. “I think that was a big lesson that Connecticut needed to learn.”

When Malloy first became governor, Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield had the only advanced manufacturing program in the state college system, and those programs have since expanded to seven schools, Malloy said.

“We needed to understand what was possible if we decided to improve ourselves as opposed to resting on our laurels, which unfortunately the state of Connecticut did for far too long,” Malloy said.

With 98 percent of those students finding work shortly after graduation, the administration and the Connecticut State College and University system announced last month that they will be attempting to place 300 recent graduates in jobs in 300 days.

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, said that “critical investments” made by the state ensure the continuation of skills that will enable those jobs to be filled.

Jason Miller, President Barack Obama’s deputy assistant and the president and deputy director of the National Economic Council, said that “manufacturing is local” and that a partnership between the state and federal governments creates a “bedrock foundation” that has helped to add more than 800,000 manufacturing jobs throughout the nation since 2010.

Jay Williams, the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, said that ultimately it was and will continue to be the tax dollars of Connecticut residents that make the growth in the state possible.

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