After a private tour of the facilities at Sikorsky Aircraft, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy talked to the press about why he decided to include the Stratford location as a stop on his ongoing jobs tour.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that’s more important to the state of Connecticut,” Malloy said of the employer of about 9,000 Nutmeg State residents. “It’s a testament to the productive ability of Connecticut.”
However, that productive ability needs human capital in order to run, and that’s something that is lagging in the state’s manufacturing trades, Malloy said, adding that he was recently told there were one thousand available jobs in that sector in Connecticut.
“Connecting the right talent to those jobs is something that we have not done a very good job at,” the governor said. “We need to do a better job replacing the skilled workforce.”
Malloy said the consolidation of the state’s four regional universities with its community colleges is meant to create “products that companies like [Sikorsky] need and that’s human capital.” He added that there has been increased examination of vocational schools to ensure that “we are turning out the right product in the right numbers in the right fields of expertise” for Connecticut employers.
Malloy said that there are more than 80 companies engaged in the aerospace industry in the state, and that if Connecticut wants to “win” it needs to recruit people for high-end precision manufacturers, such as Sikorsky Aircraft.