Economy & Jobs
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May 3, 2017 Press Release
“While this should have been finalized last year, I am pleased that members from both sides of the aisle finally came together to pass a fair and bipartisan spending bill to close out the fiscal year,” said Courtney. “The bill that passed today is good news for Connecticut’s defense industry and our economy as a whole. It contains funding for all of Connecticut’s top-defense manufacturing priorities, including $85 million in advanced procurement funding for Virginia-class submarines produced at Electric Boat. Additionally, despite the Trump administration’s directives to cut funding for domestic priorities such as the National Institutes of Health, Meals on Wheels, SeaGrant, and after school programs, Republicans joined with Democrats in rejecting those harmful cuts. There is little doubt that many of the domestic priorities that Americans rely on will come under attack again during future budget negations with the White House, but I hope the bipartisan framework passed in the House today can serve as a model as we begin to get a very late start on the 2018 budget.”
“With imported seafood making up 90% of American seafood consumption, our nation should be focusing on programs to expand and improve our domestic aquaculture industry,” wrote the members. “Sea Grant is a program that does just that- helping fishermen and shellfish farmers navigate a complex patchwork of state and federal coastal zone management regulations through technical assistance. Sea Grant works with local producers to grow and sustain their business models while connecting them to local resources to share best practices.”
“Today is the seven-year anniversary of the devastating 2010 Kleen Energy Plant explosion in Middletown, Connecticut that cost six workers their lives, including my friend Ron Crabb, and injured dozens more.” said Courtney. “As the 2010 incident in Middletown and the catastrophic explosion in 2013 at the West Fertilizer plant in Texas demonstrate, the benefits of ensuring a safe and healthy workplace are not just confined to the facility’s property - local communities also have a major stake in the safety of these workplaces. Since OSHA was first created, great strides have been made in protecting American workers, but too many workers are injured, falling ill, or even killed when working in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. We need to make sure OSHA can continue its vital mission to protect America’s workers so that moms and dads across this country will safely return home to their families after a hard day’s work.”
January 10, 2017 Press Release
“Today’s action by OSHA sends a clear signal to the 15 million people working in the health care sector that the federal government is focused on providing a safe and secure workplace for them,” said Courtney. “We have known for some time that our health care workers face unique challenges and risks to their personal safety, and I urge the incoming administration to continue to press for stronger protections and safety standards for this sector.”
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."