Like many Connecticut manufacturers, Farmington-based TRUMPF Inc., has trouble finding employees with the necessary skills for performing specialized work.

It’s why TRUMPF’s Christine Benz went to Hartford March 9 to testify before a legislative committee in favor of SB 837, which creates a task force to study high-growth, high-demand jobs and analyze the use of partnerships that provide additional apprenticeship opportunities.

Dri-Air's Charlie Sears and Thomaston Bank's Rebecca Kayfus
Speaking out: Dri-Air Industries’ Charlie Sears and Thomaston Savings Bank’s Rebecca Kayfus.

Two weeks earlier, representatives from two small businesses testified before the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee on two bills—SB 544 and HB 7042—that address rising healthcare costs.

Charlie Sears of Dri-Air Industries of East Windsor and Thomaston Savings Bank’s Rebecca Kayfus urged legislators to support the bills, noting that health insurance is one cost companies cannot control.

Less than a week after Sears and Kayfus testified, Lucia Furman, president of Mercantile Development Inc., of Shelton, spoke in support of SB 636, which expands eligibility under the set-aside program for small businesses and contractors.

On April 3, when the legislature’s Appropriations Committee considered several bills designed to put teeth into a legislative spending cap that voters approved 25 years ago, Jason Howey, president of Okay Industries, was among those testifying.

“A well-defined spending cap that matches its original intent is a powerful way to control our state’s spending habits,” said Howey, who employs more than 200 people at manufacturing operations in New Britain and Berlin.

Although the members of CBIA’s public policy team are at the Capitol daily and testify on various bills, it’s always better when lawmakers hear firsthand from business  owners—Connecticut’s job creators—on the impact of proposed legislation.

Getting members involved is just one way CBIA fights to make Connecticut a top state for business, jobs and economic growth.
“Our public policy team members are great and when they testify, it’s with full knowledge of a bill,” said CBIA Public Affairs Manager Nicole Cline.

“But when members of the business community testify, it always carries a lot of weight because they bring real-world experiences—in many cases, decades of experience.”

The testimony helped, as three of the four bills were voted out of committee.

Encouraging testimony on legislation that could affect businesses is one of many ways CBIA works to involve the business community in the state’s legislative process so their voices are heard.

CBIA drew more than 300 businesses leaders from across Connecticut to Hartford on March 8 for its annual Business Day at the Capitol.

And CBIA seeks to encourage stronger relationships between business leaders and their elected representatives through the popular Adopt a Legislator program.

This unique initiative is designed to help business leaders easily and effectively build relationships with their state lawmakers.

Getting members involved in the legislative process is just one way CBIA fights to make Connecticut a top state for business, jobs and economic growth.

After all, a better business climate means a brighter future for everyone.

To that end, mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 17th, which will be CBIA's Manufacturing Innovation Day at the State Capitol.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Nicole Cline (860.982.8121).