Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that he will introduce legislation to establish a new Advanced Manufacturing Fund with an initial investment of $25 million.
The AM Fund will help companies modernize and grow, purchase equipment, develop new technologies, and provide access to training and specialized education for workers.
The Fund may also be additionally used as an economic development tool to attract new companies to the state and support Connecticut‚Äôs universities in expanding federally funded research programs.
The AM Fund will be administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), with support from an Advisory Committee composed of industry experts.
The announcement was made by Gov. Malloy, DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith and other officials during an event at Pegasus Manufacturing in Middletown.
The Fund will give priority to companies located in the 42 communities such as Middletown, Ansonia, Norwich and Windham that are historic manufacturing hubs in Connecticut.
The Fund is also expected to have a positive impact on local economic development and help bring down the unemployment rate in distressed communities.
Gov. Malloy said that although Connecticut‚Äôs manufacturers are among the best at what they do, a major ramp-up of production activity could pose a challenge for smaller producers. He said now is the time for the state to make this investment for building up core industrial capacity and ensuring that Connecticut remains competitive in the global marketplace.
Gov. Mallow added that the AM Fund is a long-term commitment that will usher in a new era of innovation and economic growth that promises to bring skilled manufacturing jobs back to Connecticut and solidify the state as a world-wide leader in advanced manufacturing for generations to come.
Commissioner Smith said that Connecticut‚Äôs manufacturing sector needs three things to strengthen and grow ‚Äì new technologies and products, the talent to create and develop them, and the capital to fund entrepreneurs and ideas.
Commissioner Smith said now is the right time for the state to attract and retain those people and ideas by ensuring that companies have access to what they need to increase skilled manufacturing job growth, and this fund is dedicated to doing just that.
Connecticut‚Äôs manufacturing industry employs 159,200 people, which accounts for nearly 10 percent of the state‚Äôs total nonfarm jobs. The industry‚Äôs annual output exceeds $24 billion (10.5 percent of GDP).
The legislation proposing the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Fund will be introduced during the upcoming regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly.