CONNSTEP: Who We Are and What We Do


CONNSTEP, the state’s leading manufacturing consulting firm, has recently become an affiliate of CBIA.
CONNSTEP is an acronym for the Connecticut State Technology Extension Program.

The company is the official representative of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a U.S. Department of Commerce agency.

CONNSTEP’s mission is to strengthen manufacturing in the state by helping companies strategically grow their businesses and improve their operational methodologies.

Our approaches lead to increased profitability, higher productivity, and sustainable advantages in the marketplace.

Why We Partnered with CBIA

Manufacturing has been a bright spot in Connecticut’s economy with over 4,000 manufacturers employing more than 160,000 people.

The timing seemed right to combine the resources, expertise, and talent of our two organizations to holistically serve the manufacturing sector in Connecticut.

The affiliation represents an opportunity to not only work collaboratively on advancing the best interests of manufacturers but also to leverage our collective strengths to ensure their competitiveness in a global economic environment.

“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,” said CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan

CONNSTEP president and CEO Bonnie Del Conte added, “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.”

What We Do

Since 1994, CONNSTEP has served hundreds of companies, providing business and technical solutions to small and midsize manufacturers. Key services in our portfolio include:

We also capture the metrics of our projects with customers and report them to the Commerce Department to demonstrate the progress we are making to advance the growth and success of manufacturing in the state.

Our Leadership Team

Bonnie Del Conte has been CONNSTEP’s president and CEO for over a decade.

With a background in accounting as a CPA and former business owner, Bonnie knows all too well the struggles and challenges facing companies that must navigate the state’s challenging economic and regulatory environment.

Kathleen Milazzo Swahn is the director of business engagement plans and results.

She leads our business growth consultants and subject matter experts, ensuring the right people and right resources are engaged with customers to meet their expectations and deliver the desired outcomes.

Mark Paggioli is the director of marketing and sales as well as manager of growth and innovation services.

He leads a team of business growth advisers who consult with manufacturers to determine the best plan of action to address their business challenges and meet their stated goals.

Paggioli also works on business development issues directly with manufacturers who seek new customers and want to grow their revenue.

CONNSTEP’s initial meetings involve scheduling no-risk, no-cost discovery sessions to learn more about you and your business to develop a customized proposal that will create a powerful, competitive advantage for your organization. You can contact us at 860.529.5120 to schedule an appointment with the business growth advisor who services your region of the state, or you can complete our Contact Us form


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