Legislators — State grant will help local business stay in town, increase workforce [Monroe Courier]

February 2, 2015

Monroe Courier

State Rep. J.P. Sredzinski (R-112th District) and state Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-21st) applauded the approval by the State Bond Commission this month approving a $700,000 loan to a Monroe manufacturing facility that will ensure the company will stay and grow in town.

In a written statement, the legislators said the funds are being loaned to Northeast Laser Engraving, Inc. to assist in the purchase of machinery, equipment and leasehold improvements at its new facility in Monroe.

The company will retain 85 jobs and create 20 new jobs within two years, they said. The loan will be provided at an interest rate of 2% for 10 years. The company will be eligible for $200,000 in loan forgiveness if it meets the job retention and creation goals.

Right now Northeast Laser Engraving has 110 people working for the company in three shifts. According to company officials, 70% of their business is in the medical device field, and the remaining 30% is in the engraving of promotional materials, jewelry engraving for Pandora and high-quality engraving for firearms.

“Growing manufacturing in Connecticut is key to establishing new, highly skilled jobs,” Kelly said. “I look forward to seeing new growth in Monroe and I welcome the many jobs that will be created by this local company.”

On Friday, Sredzinski toured Northeast Laser Engraving, Inc. with company President Richard Rosselli. Sredzinski and Rosselli discussed the cost and shortage of labor in Connecticut and how high and unpredictable state taxes hurts the business, as does the special assessment on businesses for the state’s unemployment fund. The surcharge, or special assessment businesses are charged, is used to pay the interest on the money Connecticut had to borrow from the federal government when the state’s unemployment fund went broke in 2009.

Rosselli told Sredzinski the state has a good talent pool coming out of the tech-schools, and is working with Fairfield University and Housatonic Community College to bring in talented engineers.

“Manufacturing is the backbone of our state economy and anything Connecticut can do to support the industry is good for workers,” Sredzinski said.

Northeast Laser provides laser processing and finishing services to a wide range of industries.

The Economic and Manufacturing Assistance Act (MAA) program is a state economic development program which provides low-interest loans and incentive-driven direct loans for projects when there is a strong economic development potential. Funding may be used for purchase of equipment, furniture and fixtures, construction, leasehold improvements, training and other eligible project-related activities.