Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the state Bond Commission approved more than $290 million in borrowing for a number of projects and investments, including $9.6 million for an on-the-job training program and $10 million to dredge New Haven Harbor.
The on-the-job training program, formally known as the Subsidized Employment Training Program or STEP UP, helps subsidize salaries of employees for the first six months they’re on the job. The program was part of the bipartisan jobs bill passed in 2011.
The Department of Labor reported in February that $10.4 million previously allocated by the state Bond Commission helped employ 1,199 employees at 390 companies. The program pays employers between $12,000 and $12,500 per employee.
“I said this before but I think it bears repeating,” Malloy said. “Many projects we undertake at these meetings create jobs. Good paying jobs with good benefits.”
He said increasing jobs in the manufacturing sector is important and about $4.8 million of the $9.6 million is allocated specifically for manufacturers. Overall, the money is expected to benefit about 1,300 individuals.
“If we are to increase manufacturing in our state we must ensure that employers have access to the trained workforce they need in order to grow their businesses,” Malloy said.
But when he talks about manufacturing Malloy isn’t necessarily talking about gun manufacturers.
“I don’t want them to leave, as long as they are manufacturing a product that can be legally consumed or purchased in the nation they’re welcome to stay in our state,” Malloy said Wednesday. “We’re not asking them to leave.”
But he believes the state will move forward with gun control measures, including expansion of its assault weapons ban. The Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle that was used “to kill 20 babies, and six adults didn’t meet that definition,” Malloy said. “I don’t think you could look at that instrument and not understand that it was an assault weapon.”
The people of Connecticut want to limit the sale of those in the future, as well as large capacity magazines, Malloy said.
“On Dec. 14 an individual went into a school with two large capacity magazines taped to one another so that he could maximize the amount of death and destruction that he could accomplish in a relatively short period of time,” Malloy said. “As you know and I know he was highly successful.”
New Haven Harbor
The Bond Commission also approved $10 million in funding for maintenance dredging of the New Haven Harbor Channel, as well as financial assistance to Gateway Terminal businesses financially impacted by the construction of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge.
“This project is particularly crucial because the Port of New Haven is the largest deep-water port in the state and ranks as one of the busiest in the region,” Malloy said. “We need to ensure the vibrancy and growth of our state’s maritime industry by investing in regular maintenance dredging and infrastructure improvements so that our commercial waterways can support an increase in shipping activity and volume of cargo transiting our deep-water ports which, in turn, will expand the workforce at the ports’ terminal operators and boost the overall economy of our state.”
Sen. Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, thanked Malloy for his support of the project in a press release.
“These improvements will help bolster the Port of New Haven’s position as the busiest port between New York and Boston and the largest deep-water port in Connecticut,” Looney said. “I will continue pushing for economic development while protecting Morris Cove from any plans to dump into our sound.”
In addition to the $10 million, Gateway Terminal will receive $250,000 in funding for increased shipping costs related to the construction of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge.
“This work will allow the Port of New Haven to continue to bring in large ships and remain economically competitive,” Gateway Terminal Chief Operating Officer Coy Angelo said. “This work will benefit all of the businesses located along the port.”
The project stems from last year’s recommendations of the Connecticut Deep Water Port Strategy Study that was commissioned by the state Department of Labor in 2011. The dredging project will create 210 jobs.