Economy & Jobs
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December 14, 2016 Press Release
"The decision to name new ballistic missile submarine after our Nation’s Capital is the highest compliment that the Navy can bestow on this critical program. The USS Columbia and the rest of the submarines in the class will patrol the seas until the 2080s in silent but critical service to our nation’s defense, and will carry with it the history of the shipyard that launched the ‘Forty-One For Freedom’ original class of ballistic submarines starting in 1957,” said Courtney. “Designation of the first submarine is another milestone that affirms the hard work of thousands of workers in southeastern Connecticut to replace the aging Ohio-class submarines. Hardworking men and women at Electric Boat and the hundreds of suppliers across our state have already been hard at work for years to support this program, and remain committed to ensuring its success. Southeastern Connecticut is ready to take on this task which the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson has called ‘foundational to Americas national security’."
December 6, 2016 Press Release
“It’s hard to overstate how important dredging and dredging disposal is to the maritime economy across the Long Island Sound region,” said Courtney. “Without the regular dredging of ports and waterways, a vast array of economic activities in our region ranging from recreational boating to commercial maritime transportation, shipbuilding, the Coast Guard Academy, and the submarine base could not function. Today’s publication of the final rule for the eastern Long Island Sound represents the final step in a long process to create environmentally responsible and manageable disposal sites across the entire length of the Sound. This eagerly awaited action follows years of intense environmental reviews, robust public engagement and diligent consideration of all views with regard to the future of dredging in our region. I want to thank the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their hard work throughout this process."
“I am very pleased that EPA has finalized its rule establishing a new Eastern Long Island Sound dredging disposal site,” said Courtney “This eagerly awaited step is the result of years of intensive scientific study, robust public engagement and advocacy by a wide range of interests in the region, and I firmly believe that the final product reflects the balanced approach that we all know is needed. The need for this site could not be any clearer, with activities ranging from small marinas to commercial maritime transportation and military facilities like Submarine Base New London all relying on access to a long term placement site for dredged materials. The final plan also moved the site to avoid obstructing the route used by Naval submarines while traveling to and from the Port of New London. The new site is also now located entirely within Connecticut waters demonstrating that the hearing and comment period which included hundreds of letters and testimony from the public on both sides of the Sound was incorporated. Completion of this process is absolutely vital to eastern Connecticut’s economy, and I thank the EPA for its diligent work for getting this site done.”
“With work continuing to ramp-up at Electric Boat and across the network of nearly five-hundred part suppliers that support work at the shipyard, we need an all-hands-on-deck effort to make sure we are training enough to new workers to fill these positions,” said Courtney. “After watching this program come together over the past year and a half since receiving the grant funding, I’m very pleased that effort has proved even more successful than we initially hoped it would be. This success did not come easily; it took a dedicated effort led by the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board, our community colleges, and Electric Boat. Their work is already paying off, as the first pipeline class has exceeded expectations, and I was glad to hear past and present students share what a positive experience the program has been for them. It will play a key role in bringing growth to our region.”
"Without access to an ELDS, it is expected that transporting dredged materials to other sites, like the Rhode Island Disposal Site, will increase carbon emissions from ships and risk of dredged material spills as transport distance is extended,” wrote the members. “Moreover, the use of the Rhode Island Sound Disposal Site's limited capacity for Long Island Sound dredging will have cascading effects on projects throughout Southern New England. Our states have been responsibly dredging in eastern Long Island Sound for over 30 years, which was recently confirmed with an A- rating on the 2016 Long Island Sound Report Card.
September 14, 2016 Press Release
“Advanced manufacturing opportunities in aerospace, maritime, and even healthcare are happening from coast to coast, and the question of the day for many employers is whether our education and job training systems are ready to fill the need. Recent updates to K-12 and job training programs signed into law by President Obama in 2014 and 2015 built a positive platform to address this challenge, and passage of this bill for tech school programs will add to that capability."
“American Woolen is true success story for eastern Connecticut,” said Courtney. “Just three years ago, the Warren Mill was sitting empty and unused after the former owner was forced to shutter the company. Now, we have a thriving company once again occupying the space just as the market for made-in-America garments is growing in popularity. With the restoration of the legacy machines to spin wool fiber, the company will be now be able to add the U.S. Navy to its growing list of clients which includes several high-profile national brands."
“I have witnessed firsthand the struggle that dairy farmers around the country face with decreasing milk prices,” said Representative Courtney. “As milk prices have steadily declined over the last half century, Connecticut has seen its dairy industry shrink from over 800 farms to about 150 today. Reopening or starting a new dairy farm is a herculean task, which is why when one closes, more often than not, no farm will replace it. The American dairy industry is an integral part of our agriculture economy and as we face yet another milk crisis, it is more important than ever for the Department of Agriculture to lend a hand to our dairy farmers before it’s too late.”
“The final rule issued yesterday establishing new restrictions on the use of the Central and Western Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Sites goes a long way toward protecting the environment while advancing Connecticut’s maritime economic interests. Long Island Sound waterways contribute more than $9 billion annually to our economic output in the region and maintaining navigable shipping channels is critical to the long-term health of our state’s economy. From the submarine base in Groton to family-owned marinas up and down our coast, thousands of residents across our state depend on reliable access to local waterways for their livelihoods. We are pleased that the amended restrictions announced yesterday prioritize disposing of dredged materials on land to mitigate any harm to the environment and the region’s fish and shellfish stocks. EPA was able to strike the right balance between ensuring our maritime economy continues to thrive while protecting both the scenic beauty and biological diversity of the Sound.”
“The roundtable at Grasso Tech this morning was a great opportunity to once again get all of the key stakeholders for the manufacturing pipeline into one place,” said the delegation members. “The discussion was focused on how we build upon the success of the first graduating class in order to make sure that we are training enough skilled workers to meet the growing need in high-tech manufacturing. With work at Electric Boat quickly ramping up, we need to be doing everything we can to prepare Connecticut workers to fill new positions at the shipyard and across the state-wide network of suppliers.”