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New Jobs On the Way: CT Jobs Bill Being Implemented

November 28, 2011

HARTFORD, Conn. - Companies both big and small stand to gain from Gov. Dannel Malloy's jobs bill, which passed the state legislature with almost unanimous support. The $626 million in bond funding will support a variety of programs.

Catherine Smith, who heads the Department of Economic and Community Development, says four of the "First Five" large companies have already been selected to receive financial incentives in exchange for creating between 200 and 900 jobs.

"It's really designed for larger companies to either expand their operations here in the state or import other operations of theirs from around the rest of the country, as well as for new companies to come into the state."

Another program helps businesses at the other end of the spectrum, those with 50 employees or fewer. The Small Business Express package works like this, Smith explains.

"If they want to add any employees, if they want to add or buy a new piece of equipment, we have the opportunity to either provide them with a low-interest-rate loan or an outright grant or matching grant, to help them make that investment or hire that next person."

Business interests have criticized Connecticut's regulatory climate, which they claim has contributed to zero job growth over the past 20 years. Smith says that is changing.

"This administration is absolutely committed to improving the regulatory environment - making it not just quicker and easier, but also more consistent, more predictable - and really making Connecticut a place where people do want to grow their businesses."

The new law is expected to be among the topics at a League of Women Voters of Connecticut forum about workforce development on Dec. 3, to be held at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, West Hartford. Smith will be one of the speakers.

Information on the forum, "Back in Business: Workforce Development for Connecticut's Economic Future," is available at www.lwvct.org.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT