State Sen. Jason Welch: A unique resource for Connecticut manufacturers in our own backyard [Foothills Media Group]

January 16, 2013

Article as it appeared on

When a manufacturer needs help fixing a production issue where do they go? How can they maintain their competitive edge in a fast-paced market? Many manufacturers are finding relief in the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), located in East Hartford.

This center is one-of-a-kind in our state. CCAT officials say they often help manufacturers with real-life business issues, like how to cut production time? Is it worth investing in a new piece of machinery?

I am a member of the bipartisan Manufacturing Caucus. Recently, the group toured the CCAT to see first-hand the unique resources available to Connecticut manufacturers.

The tour was part of the bi-partisan group’s effort to learn about the opportunities and challenges facing the state’s manufacturers to more effectively support and help them grow in today’s global market.

On the tour, leaders were told one of the major challenges for small- to medium-sized manufacturers is how to cost-effectively enhance output using their current assets while minimizing production disruptions.

Members of the manufacturing caucus also learned how CCAT has researched and enhanced manufacturing methods to help reduce run-times by as much as 50 percent in milling, turning, roughing and other machining processes integral to improving production.

They also discovered how the industrial lasers produce high quality welds, drill millions of precise holes for aerospace and defense companies, and are environmentally preferred for paint and coatings removal and cleaning.

At prior meetings with manufacturers, the caucus has learned that there is a scarcity of workers trained to run advanced machines. It was acknowledged that a part of the problem in providing this training is the lack of access to sophisticated technology.

CCAT officials explained they are partnering with state high schools, technical and comprehensive, as well as community colleges to integrate use of their resources into education programs to help train the next generation of skilled manufacturing workers.

As an advocate for small businesses, I believe manufacturing is critical to Connecticut’s economic recovery and stability. Anything we can do to help support it will benefit the entire state.

Workers will stay employed and businesses will stay open.

State Sen. Jason Welch represents the 31st Senate district towns of Bristol, Plainville, Harwinton, Thomaston and Plymouth. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 800-842-1421.