Paul Lavoie, chief manufacturing officer for the state of Connecticut Credit: Contributed photo

The general manager of a Cromwell manufacturing company will become the state’s new chief manufacturing officer, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday. 

Paul Lavoie of Carey Manufacturing will become the second person to serve in the position, and will be responsible for coordinating efforts to expand manufacturing from the state and private sector, officials said. 

Lavoie starts his new job on Monday, succeeding retiring Colin Cooper, who became the state’s first chief manufacturing officer in 2019. Cooper’s final day of state service will be February 25.

“This sector has a critical role when it comes to jobs, exports, innovation, and productivity. Over the last couple of years, thousands of manufacturing jobs have been added in Connecticut, and I am determined to keep this momentum going,” Lamont said, adding he wants to see the state’s skilled workers fill positions that pay well.  “Paul is a friendly face in Connecticut’s manufacturing community, and I am confident that he will be able to hit the ground running.”

Lavoie has been with Carey Manufacturing – which produces catches, latches, handles, and electronic hardware – since 2017. Carey has been credited with bringing manufacturing jobs back from China to Connecticut, officials said. Lavoie also was vice president of sales, marketing, and human resources at ETTER Engineering Company in Bristol and has served on various boards. He is now a member of the state’s Industry 4.0 Working Group and the Governor’s Workforce Council.

Lavoie said he is looking forward to taking up where Cooper left off. 

“I look forward to continuing to build on the foundation created by Colin and working with all manufacturing stakeholders to grow the manufacturing sector. We will continue to engage, educate and enable our manufacturers to take advantage of the market opportunities, grow their businesses and solidify Connecticut’s reputation as the Silicon Valley of Advanced Manufacturing,” Lavoie said. 

State officials credited Cooper with meeting with hundreds of manufacturers, helping them respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and helping direct the Manufacturing Innovation Fund, helping that manufacturing sector with programs to help strengthen its workforce.