CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan today called the General Assembly's bipartisan approval of an agreement to keep Sikorsky in the state "great news for Connecticut."

Brennan said today's votes in the state Senate and House must be a catalyst for much-needed, broader changes to the state's overall business climate to fix the economy and spur job growth.

Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion
Production of the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter is the driving element behind the deal approved by the legislature.

Like Pratt & Whitney's September 16 announcement that it will add 8,000 jobs in Connecticut over the next 10 years, there is much to applaud with the Sikorsky deal.

Sikorsky will increase full-time employment in Connecticut to more than 8,000 workers by 2032, double current spending of $350 million per year with in-state suppliers, and increase its capital spending by 22%.

The state will give Sikorsky up to $8.6 million annually over the 14-year agreement if it meets benchmarks for job growth, payroll spending, and using in-state suppliers.

Sikorsky also will be exempt from sales and use taxes up to $5.7 million a year. It will be eligible for annual performance incentives up to $1.9 million if it exceeds periodic job targets, capped at a total of $20 million.

The company is expected to inject $6.5 billion into its supply chain over the course of the agreement.

Positive Impact

Retaining and boosting marquee manufacturers like Sikorsky and Pratt & Whitney will clearly have a positive impact on their Connecticut-based supply chains and the larger aerospace sector.

There's enormous competition among states to keep and attract businesses.

The advanced manufacturing sector, with its well-paying jobs and wide economic ripple factor, is particularly competitive.

We must remind those running for office of the commitment needed to make this a state where companies want to invest, create jobs, and build a future for everyone.
Sikorsky president Dan Schultz said the company looked at a number of different states to site production of the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter, the driving element behind the deal the legislature approved today.

While Connecticut—with its skilled workforce—was Sikorsky’s first choice, “the economics had to work.”

“Connecticut was not the cheapest state,” Schultz said. “So to get this proposal in puts us in a competitive mindset.”

High Costs, Fiscal Challenges

Connecticut faces certain competitive obstacles to bringing firms from other states here because of our high business costs and fiscal challenges.

However, these can be fixed by implementing critical policy changes that will make our state more competitive.

It's about keeping companies and jobs here and making Connecticut a more attractive location for firms to relocate from around the country.

Connecticut is becoming a center of excellence for advanced manufacturing, particularly in aerospace, and by moderating the policy negatives, we can better leverage the state's many assets and drive growth.

There's just under six weeks left to Election Day and jobs and the economy remain the central themes to the 2016 General Assembly election races.

It's essential those running for office continue to be reminded of the urgency facing Connecticut, and the commitment needed to make this a state where companies want to invest, create jobs, and build a future for everyone.