Kennedy Votes to Keep & Grow Sikorsky Jobs in Connecticut
HARTFORD, CT—Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford) joined a historic, bipartisan vote in the state Senate today to support Sikorsky Aerospace and solidify Connecticut’s leadership in aerospace and advanced manufacturing. This agreement will retain and grow approximately 8,000 jobs at Sikorsky Aircraft until 2032, keep the Sikorsky headquarters here in Connecticut, and substantially increase Sikorsky’s spending with its network of 302 in-state suppliers—4 of whom are located in Senator Kennedy’s Senate District.
The agreement with Sikorsky will also infuse an estimated $69 billion into Connecticut’s economy, generate $384 million per year in annual tax revenue, generate $21 billion in employee wages and benefits, and directly and indirectly support 24,600 jobs. These figures do not include anticipated future orders from our military allies, which would result in even more revenue and jobs created.
"I am proud to collaborate with my colleagues in passing this bipartisan agreement with Lockheed Martin that promises stability and economic growth for years to come,” said Senator Kennedy. “This agreement saves and creates thousands of jobs at Sikorsky and greatly increases the amount of money it spends on manufacturers and other suppliers here in Connecticut. Many of Sikorsky’s current suppliers are located in Connecticut, including four advanced manufacturing companies in my district. These jobs are high-skilled and high wage, and will spark additional job growth in the engineering and manufacturing sector.”
Today’s agreement with Sikorsky comes on the heels of recent announcements by Pratt & Whitney and Electric Boat that they plan on hiring several thousand employees in the coming years and expanding operations in Connecticut, thereby reinforcing Connecticut’s standing as a leader in fields of aerospace technology and manufacturing.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin will:
- Keep the Sikorsky headquarters in the state and maintain Connecticut as a primary production facility for its government-based helicopter business,
- Retain and grow its full time employment in Connecticut from a minimum of 6,500 employees in 2019 to just over 8,000 by 2032,
- Increase its spending with Connecticut subcontractors from $300 million per year beginning in 2019 to $470 million per year beginning in 2030, and
- Increase its capital spending for machinery and equipment by 22 percent.
In exchange, Connecticut will provide financial incentives totaling up to $220 million over the term of the agreement:
- Sikorsky will earn grants of up to $8.57 million on an annual basis over the term of the agreement by meeting certain benchmarks, such as retaining at least the minimum level of each category, growing jobs, payroll spending, utilizing in-state suppliers, and deploying capital for machinery, equipment, and other long term investments;
- Sales and use taxes will be exempted up to $5.7 million per year over the term of the agreement; and
- If Lockheed Martin exceeds the target level employment by 100 to 550 jobs in any given year of the agreement, it will be eligible for a performance incentive grant of up to $1.9 million, for a total of up to $20 million.
Under terms of the new agreement between Sikorsky and the state—an agreement which is still pending U.S. Navy and labor union approval—Sikorsky will build nearly 200 CH-53K King Stallion helicopters in Connecticut for the United States Navy until at least 2032.
The King Stallion is approximately the size of two passenger buses; it is capable of lifting 36,000 pounds and can carry a fully loaded Humvee and a platoon of 48 Marines.