Good Day Mate! North Haven Delegation Welcomes 400 New Jobs

July 18, 2012
North Haven chosen for new headquarters of Sustainable Building Systems L to R, Catherine Smith, Cmsr. DECD, Rep. Yaccarino, Sen. Len Fasano, Governor Malloy, Selectman Freda at podium and SBS executives

North Haven chosen for new headquarters of Sustainable Building Systems L to R, Catherine Smith, Cmsr. DECD, Rep. Yaccarino, Sen. Len Fasano, Governor Malloy, Selectman Freda at podium and SBS executives

Australian Company to Manufacture Sustainable Building Systems

North Haven, CT – Selectman Mike Freda, Representative Dave Yaccarino (R-North Haven) and Minority Senate Leader Pro-Tempore, Len Fasano (R-North Haven) joined Governor Dannel Malloy and owners of Sustainable Buildings Systems LLC to announce they will be moving one of their U.S. headquarters to North Haven. It is the sixth company and first international company to be a part of the state’s ‘First Five’ Program.

“This has been a joint effort of my office, the selectman’s office, Department of Economic and Community Development and the Governor to bring jobs to North Haven,” said Sen. Fasano. “More than a year ago the talks began and today we are celebrating more than 400 new jobs that will be coming to North Haven.”

“This building has always been prime real-estate in our town,” said Selectman Freda. “After a former printing company left in 2008, Sen. Fasano and I worked hard to find those 350 employees new work. We then immediately shifted gears to find a new tenant. This is a bipartisan team effort and I’m proud to say it is now a reality.”

Sustainable Building Systems LLC, is the join venture between two steel companies the Weeks Group and Diverse Services Group (DSG). They will specialize in making sustainable building panels for homes, hotels, the military, as well as other applications. The new company will occupy nearly 400,000 square feet at 297 State Street, one of their new U.S. headquarters.

Rep. Yaccarino said, “This is what the First Five Program was meant to do, bring companies and jobs to Connecticut. The state’s investment will help this community immensely. People need jobs, small businesses need customers and students need an opportunity to put their skills to work.”

Governor Malloy said, “In the last century, the steel industry was the backbone of our nation, providing jobs and helping to build the middle class. Companies like Sustainable Building Systems represent the next evolution of that industry. By embracing 21st Century technology, what’s old is becoming new again. Green products represent the future and I’m happy to welcome Sustainable Building Systems to American soil.”

As part of the startup of Sustainable Building Systems, the Weeks Group will train 50 local employees in all aspects of the manufacturing process. A total of 408 employees will be hired within four years.

Duane Armijo, DSG CEO and President of SBS said, “Combining our operational, administrative and manufacturing functions to create SBS allows us to meet the demand of our growing sustainable building industry, as well as provide more than 400 jobs to the local economy. We’re very much looking forward to being an integral part of the community in North Haven.”

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to expand here in the United States and have the ability to share our innovative and customer focused organization that has provided quality products for over twenty years,” said Peter Zitis, CEO of Steel Buildings Systems International (SBSI), a subsidiary of the Weeks Group.

The Weeks Group, Australian owned and operated since it was founded more than 20 years ago, builds homes and manufactures steel framing products for residential and commercial construction. It has seven subsidiaries and operates from multiple sites in Australia, with joint venture projects in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, and is the parent company of SBSI, the subsidiary that has part ownership of SBS.

“These two companies are bringing the principles of advanced precision manufacturing to the construction industry,” said Catherine Smith, commissioner of DECD. “It’s that kind innovative spirit and entrepreneurialism that the state wants to support with the Governor’s First Five program.”

State support for the $97 million project will be provided through Governor Malloy’s First Five program, which is administered by Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

The agency will provide a 10-year loan of $19.1 million at 2% interest to be disbursed in three installments. Ten million dollars will be provided at the closing; $5 million will be paid within two years after the closing if the company has created 208 jobs; and $4.1 million within four years if the company has created another 200 jobs, for a total of 408 jobs. Funding will go toward the purchase of machinery and equipment.

To date the ‘First Five’ Program has handed out $209.8 million in assistance.