Malloy proposes creating a manufacturing fund

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday he will ask the state legislature to approve creation of a $25 million Advanced Manufacturing Fund that would assist manufacturers in 42 municipalities, including several in eastern Connecticut, to meet demand and create jobs.

Malloy, accompanied by Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith, state officials and legislators and local business leaders, announced that he will introduce the legislation during the upcoming legislative session.

“Although Connecticut’s manufacturers are among the best at what they do, a major ramp-up in production activity could pose a challenge for our smaller producers,” Malloy said in a press release announcing the plan. “Now is the right time for the state to make this investment to build up our core industrial capability and ensure we remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

Malloy said the Advanced Manufacturing Fund would receive an initial investment of $25 million to help companies modernize and grow, purchase equipment and develop new technologies, and provide access to training and specialized education for workers.

The Fund also could be used to attract new companies to the eligible municipalities and support Connecticut’s universities as the institutions increase their federally funded research efforts.

The eligible eastern Connecticut towns would be: Canterbury, Griswold, Groton, Killingly, Lisbon, Montville, New London, Norwich, Sprague and Windham.

The municipalities were selected based on having one or more — but not necessarily all — of the following designations: Public Investment Community, Distressed Municipality, Enterprise Zone/Targeted Investment Community, and Enterprise Corridor Zone.

Jason Vincent, vice president of the Norwich Community Development Corp. said the fund would help the city attract new manufacturing entities or help existing ones to expand their businesses.

“Now we have a fund we can refer to if we have a manufacturing company interested in coming here,” Vincent said.

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