STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Gov. Dannel Malloy‘s office announced Tuesday that the state has reached an agreement with Lockheed Martin to allow Sikorsky’s headquarters to remain in the shoreline town of Stratford.
Under the deal, Sikorsky will build nearly 200 CH-53K King Stallion Helicopters in Connecticut for the United States Navy until at least 2032. Lockheed Martin has considered numerous states for production of the CH-53K. It means more than a decade of work for thousands of Sikorsky employees and thousands more in the local sub-contractor supply chain.
All that’s needed to close the deal is for the legislature to give the okay for the $220-million in grants and tax breaks over the next 14 years, and for the Teamsters Local 1150 union to approve the contract proposal made by Sikorsky. It all must be done by the federal government’s deadline of October 7th.
“This is an investment in our future which I think the legislature gets and appreciates and I’m looking forward to a positive response from all my colleagues when we meet in special session,” said Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden.)
“I look at it as a business investment. We’re going to be paying $8 million a year, that’s actually what the state is paying, over 14 years and that’s really what our investment is,” added State Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven)
The terms of the agreement specify that Lockheed Martin will;
- Keep the Sikorsky headquarters in the state and maintain Connecticut as a primary production facility for its government based helicopter business;
- Retain and grow its full time employment in Connecticut to more than 8,000 by the end of year 14;
- Nearly double its spending of $350 million per year with local Connecticut suppliers throughout the state;
- Increase its capital spending for machinery and equipment by 22 percent.
“The increase in spending that Sikorsky will make in the supply chain along is greater than the total state investment,” Gov. Malloy said Wednesday.
Sikorsky would spend more than $1-billion in capital expenditures in Connecticut, more than $11-billion in payroll, and $6-billion with state suppliers.
“Sikorsky is critical to Connecticut and to this region, Stratford, Shelton, Bridgeport, Milford, Orange, all of the surrounding towns. They employ 6,000 people and more, and so it is really really important that we keep these high-paying skilled jobs here,” said Rep. Laura Hoydick.
The Governor wants a Special Session in one week. Legislative leaders say they’re working on it.