Fonfara Applauds Signing of Legislation to Bolster Connecticut’s Aerospace Industry
Agreement Ensures State Remains Center of UTC R&D Activities, Home to Sikorsky and Pratt & Whitney for Years to Come
Today state Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford) welcomed Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s signing of legislation (Public Act 14-2) to support an agreement the state reached in February with United Technologies Corporation (UTC) under which the company will invest up to $500 million to upgrade and expand its aerospace research and development and manufacturing facilities over the next five years. During the same time period, UTC expects to invest up to $4 billion in research and other capital expenditures in the state, impacting more than 75,000 jobs in the Connecticut. The agreement does not require any borrowing or payments by the State of Connecticut, and is expected to create nearly 1,500 construction and other related jobs throughout the initial capital expansion. Construction on the projects is expected to begin this year and continue through 2018.
“United Technologies has been Connecticut’s leading employer and a world-class manufacturer for generations. With this agreement, UTC is recommitting to its ongoing presence in our state, and making substantial investments in both cutting-edge research facilities and in human capital,” said Senator Fonfara, who serves as Senate Chairman of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. “The brain power that UTC has amassed in its team of engineers is one of our state’s greatest resources. Research performed by UTC will lead to new and innovative products, many of which will be built here as well. I thank Governor Malloy for his leadership and for his vision in brokering this agreement.”
“With the signing of this legislation, we are moving our state toward a new era of innovation, investment and economic growth, while solidifying our position as a world leader in aerospace manufacturing. Most importantly, this agreement has a direct impact on employment at the thousands of aerospace supply chain companies throughout the state, ensuring they are keeping and creating good-paying jobs with good benefits for men and women in nearly every city and town in Connecticut,” said Governor Malloy. “I thank my colleagues in the General Assembly, Democrats and Republicans, and the leadership of both chambers—especially Finance Committee Chairs Senator Fonfara and Representative Widlitz—for helping to move our state forward with the swift passage of this legislation.”
Specifically, UTC will be required to:
- Construct a new Pratt & Whitney corporate headquarters, which it will keep in Connecticut for a minimum of 15 years;
- Construct a new Pratt & Whitney worldwide engineering center of excellence in Connecticut;
- Keep Sikorsky corporate headquarters in Connecticut for a minimum of 5 years;
- Create a customer training center at UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) in Windsor Locks;
- Build new labs and infrastructure at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC);
- Invest in new research projects and capital investments at Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, UTAS and UTRC.
“United Technologies is a critical piece of Connecticut’s economic future,” said Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Brooklyn). “This agreement ensures, that in years to come, Connecticut will remain a leader in the aerospace industry which supports more than 75,000 jobs in the state.”
“This is just the latest in a long series of actions by the legislature and Governor Malloy to attract and retain good-paying, high-tech jobs here in Connecticut,” said State Senator Gary D. LeBeau (D-East Hartford), Senate Chairman of the Commerce Committee. “That is our focus, that is our future, and this investment will pay off at both the local and state levels for decades to come.”
“This bill was the most significant piece of legislation that was passed this session for improving Connecticut’s economy,” said State Rep. Patricia Widlitz (D-Branford), House Chairman of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. “I want to extend my thanks Governor Malloy for his leadership and his work putting CT on the map as a place for high tech business in the US. This bill goes hand in hand with the recent announcement that Sikorsky will receive the federal contract for helicopter construction will help to secure job for years to come. I think the bill establishes our state at the forefront of the aerospace industry and I’m very proud to have been a small part of its passage.”
HB 5465 will allow exchange of approximately $20 million per year of previously earned but unused tax credits to finance the construction, up to a maximum of $400 million. The exchanged credits will be offset with tax reductions over a 14-year period, with the final amount based on the company’s level of jobs, wages and investments. If UTC fails to meet any of its obligations under the agreement, the benefits to the company would be either significantly reduced or eliminated. The agreement further incentivizes UTC by allowing for more exchanges as the company adds jobs in Connecticut and makes additional capital investments.