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Opinion: Positive news about Connecticut

Bob Duff

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-25) is Majority Leader. This is one of his occasional email updates. 

I want to share with you some positive news about Connecticut:

Amazon Creating Jobs in Connecticut
Amazon–the largest internet-based retailer in the world–has decided to expand its presence in Connecticut with the creation of a new state-of-the-art, 855,000 square-foot fulfillment center in North Haven. The company plans to spend $255 million on the project, where it will create 1,800 jobs at the new facility.

Amazon’s decision to invest 1,800 new, good-paying jobs in North Haven is a victory for the greater New Haven area. Connecticut’s partnership with Amazon has already yielded thousands of jobs.

The company, which recently opened a fulfillment center in Windsor and a sorting center in Wallingford, currently employs approximately 2,000 people in Connecticut. With the addition of the North Haven facility, that number will increase to approximately 3,800 Connecticut-based employees.
A Transportation Lockbox
A strong, modernized infrastructure is central to a thriving economy. That’s why I was happy to lead Senate passage of a constitutional amendment creating a transportation lockbox. A lockbox will ensure that funds intended to be used for transportation remain reserved for that use only.

When I speak with business leaders in Norwalk and Darien, and with others across the state, they repeatedly stress the need for an upgraded transportation system. Businesses need a transportation infrastructure that provides reliability and consistency in order to grow and succeed.

I believe that creating a transportation lockbox is in the best interests of the fiscal health of Connecticut. Voters will have an opportunity to approve the ballot measure in 2018.
UTC Makes Major Investment in Connecticut
Earlier this month, United Technologies Corporation cut the ribbon on its new $60 million Connecticut research hub. The new facility is a direct result of the state’s effort to collaborate with UTC to accelerate Connecticut’s innovation economy.

This is a facility where research will produce and develop the kind of technological advances that we’re seeing around the world.

Those who run the center say they haven’t had any trouble recruiting talent.

“Half of our folks we hired in the last five years. They love being here,” remarked Dr. David Parekh, the Director of the UTRC during the ribbon cutting. “They put their roots in the community and they enjoy working together and they themselves are the ones recruiting others saying hey, come and work and come and join us and be a part of the innovation that’s happening at UTC.”
Connecticut Added 6,700 Jobs in May
Connecticut employers added 6,700 jobs to their payrolls in May and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent, new labor data shows.

Connecticut counted 11,000 more jobs last month–mostly in the private sector–than in May 2016, when the state’s jobless rate was 5.3 percent.

Private education and health services led the state’s seven of 10 job “supersectors” recording gains last month.

While we have more work to do, this is encouraging news.

6 comments

Rick June 18, 2017 at 11:51 am

Amazon will be using 10,000 robots in its warehouses by the end of the year.

CEO Jeff Bezos told investors at a shareholder meeting Wednesday that he expects to significantly increase the number of robots used to fulfill customer orders.( Amazon bought the robot company)

Amazon plans to build a $255 million distribution center in North Haven and hire 1,800 people to staff it, according to the office of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, which is extending up to $25 million in incentives for the project.Could you please break down the incentives that was confusing to follow please?

Didn’t this lock box subject come up last May? Passage was not easy considering tolls and gas tax seem to have strings could you elaborate Bob?

Isn’t there a stalled, $100 billion transportation rebuilding program, and a Special Transportation Fund headed for insolvency, could you tell us more about those two items.

Bob sometimes the numbers are wrong according to the State
The jobs report released Thursday showed Connecticut’s unemployment rate in May was 4.9 percent, unchanged since April and four-tenths of a point lower than a year ago. The state had a net gain of 6,700 jobs, a gain partially offset by revised numbers showing a loss of 3,100 jobs in April, nearly double the loss originally reported.

UTC In return got what?, the state allowed UTC to receive tax offsets of up to $400 million over 14 years. Malloy and fellow Democrats in the legislature hailed it as a key economic development deal that I thought ignored a number of small businesses with a deal from the State instead

Thank you for the update is there any more on the stalled wall st construction project highlighting a state of the art parking garage for Norwalk?

Isabelle Hargrove June 18, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Whenever Senator Duff publishes one of these self-promoting pieces masquerading as important economic news for our state, I always end up asking myself the same question; is he that oblivious or does he think I am?

Bob June 23, 2017 at 2:46 pm

We all know that Connecticut has economic problems but Bob Duff takes lots of time away from his family to be in Hartford or to meet with constituents and works on large projects that impact the economy, for essentially no money, because he wants to serve the public and have an impact. He is accessible and responsive, much more so than many other elected representatives. Transportation and pension problems are some of the hardest to solve, so I’m sure specific workable ideas would be welcome.

Go ahead and ask him about specific issues but don’t castigate him without comparing your own public efforts to his.

Donna June 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm

We don’t elect people because they try hard. We don’t elect them because they have good intentions. We elect them to serve our interests, and they run, I hope, because they believe they can work successfully on our behalf. The fact that Bob Duff’s critics have not done his job themselves does not invalidate their criticisms. It’s pretty silly to suggest otherwise.

If he hasn’t done the job we elected him to do, he gets voted out the next time around. And while we’re waiting for him to get voted out, we get to criticize his performance. Very few people run for public office. All politicians get criticized by people who haven’t been in their shoes. If Bob Duff isn’t thick-skinned enough to handle NoN message boards, he’s in the wrong line of work.

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