SHELTON, Conn. — In a visit Monday to an aerospace supplier in Shelton, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy heard first-hand from employees about the importance of Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft in Connecticut's economy.
Murphy (D-Conn.) visited Prestige Industrial Finishing Co., a small business that does painting and power coating for the military and aerospace industries.
Prestige is a second generation family-owned and -operated business that was established in 1981 and is currently working into the third generation.
The business was built on its longstanding relationships with both Sikorsky and its suppliers, and it relies heavily on military and government jobs. Murphy toured the company and hosted a Town Hall meeting with its 30 employees to hear about the importance of Sikorsky’s presence in the state.
Murphy, a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, spoke about his work to advocate for federal investment in Connecticut’s defense manufacturing.
The manufacturing industry plays a crucial role throughout Connecticut communities, creating new jobs and accelerating the state’s economic recovery. Now, Connecticut’s 4,600 manufacturers account for 10 percent of the state’s jobs and 87 percent of the state’s total exports.
In order to protect and grow manufacturing jobs in Connecticut, Murphy has introduced two pieces of legislation that aim to strengthen existing standards and prioritize the purchase of American-made goods, the 21st Century Buy American Act and the American Jobs Matter Act.
Last month, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed legislation securing Sikorsky’s future in Connecticut.
The agreement with aerospace giant Lockheed Martin — approved by the local Teamsters union and all but seven state legislators — keeps Sikorsky in Connecticut at least until 2032.
In exchange, the state will provide financial incentives of up to $220 million over the term of the agreement.
Sikorsky will re-configure its workforce to begin manufacturing the CH-53K King Stallion, considered the best heavy-lift helicopter in the world, in Stratford, ultimately hiring another 8,000 workers.
In turn, Sikorsky will buy parts from other small and medium-size “supply chain” businesses across the state, further bolstering Connecticut’s economy, Malloy said.
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