Connecticut's largest business organization and leading business consulting firm CONNSTEP have joined forces to better support the state's surging manufacturing sector.

CBIA and CONNSTEP announced the formal partnership June 6, calling it a "a fresh opportunity for both organizations to work collaboratively with manufacturers, broaden efforts to meet their needs, and bolster the industry."

CBIA CONNSTEP: Bonnie Del Conte and Joe Brennan
Joining forces: CONNSTEP's Bonnie Del Conte and CBIA's Joe Brennan.

"The combining of two strong organizations that assist manufacturing in different ways will allow us to better support this industry sector, particularly at a time when we're seeing a resurgence of manufacturing activity here in Connecticut," CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan said.

"By joining forces, we will provide the manufacturing community with the full range of products and services that CBIA and CONNSTEP offer and do so in a much more efficient and cost-effective way."

'One-Stop Shopping'

CONNSTEP president and CEO Bonnie Del Conte said the move creates a "one-stop shopping experience" for the state's manufacturing community.

"We work to strengthen manufacturing in the state, helping businesses achieve improved outcomes with strategies to best respond to fluctuating market conditions and customer demands," she said.

"We see this as a blending of people and an alignment of purpose to create meaningful synergies that better serve the needs of Connecticut manufacturers."

The announcement was applauded by manufacturing leaders, including the heads of Glastonbury-based HABCO Industries and Middletown aerospace manufacturer Pegasus Manufacturing.

This partnership will help serve companies as they strive to grow, meet workforce demands, and become more competitive.
— HABCO Industries' Brian Montanari
"Leveraging the combined organizational strengths of CBIA and CONNSTEP will provide many more business-building opportunities to manufacturers in the state," said HABCO president and CEO Brian Montanari.

"Their partnership will help serve companies as they strive to grow their business, meet workforce demands, and become more competitive."

"As a manufacturer, I'm excited for the new opportunities that this partnership will bring," Pegasus presisdent Chris DiPentima said.

"The industry is growing, demand is up, and having CBIA and CONNSTEP working closely together in the manufacturing sector's best interests will only help drive greater investment and growth here in Connecticut."

Manufacturing Growth

As an affiliate of CBIA, CONNSTEP will retain its brand and relocate its corporate office and staff from Rocky Hill to CBIA's headquarters in downtown Hartford.

Connecticut's 4,000-plus manufacturers account for 10% of the state's workforce and 16% of the state's annual economic output.

The sector employs 162,900 people in the state, growing 2.8% in the 12 months through April and leading all industries in percentage terms. Connecticut's overall year-over-year job growth is 0.5%.

While the state's economy contracted last year—shrinking for the fourth time in five years—durable goods manufacturing led all industries with 0.39% growth.

Much of the growth is being driven by the aerospace and defense sectors, with United Technologies Corporation, General Dynamics Electric Boat, and Sikorsky all announcing major hiring, expansion, and investment initiatives in the last year.


Learn more about CBIA and CONNSTEP joining forces, the implications for suppliers from United Technologies boost in investment, and more at the June 12 joint meeting of CBIA's Small Business Advisory Council and Manufacturing Advisory Council.