BERLIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s Governor Dannel Malloy toured a Sikorsky supplier’s facilities in Berlin to tout the importance of approving the Sikorsky deal in a special legislative session next week. Sikorsky has an order from the government for two hundred CH 53K King Stallion helicopters which it will produce in Connecticut, if the deal is approved.
“Earlier today I put out a call for a session to approve, what is, I think a very dynamic, groundbreaking agreement that we have reached with Sikorsky,” said Governor Malloy.
Lawmakers are being asked to green light 220 million dollars in grants and tax breaks for Sikorsky in order to keep the Stratford company in the state for the next 14 years. In exchange, Lockheed Martin,the parent company of Sikorsky, will spend an additional 350 million dollars will local suppliers.
That’s good news for small businesses like Cambridge Specialty Company in Berlin that supply helicopter parts to Sikorsky. Mark Labbe, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Cambridge Specialty Company, says the benefits will be visible down the supply chain.
“We have a local supply base that’s 50 to 100 suppliers that we outsource product to whether it’s machining or special processes,” said Labbe.
For the small businesses in Connecticut who are tied to Sikorsky’s fortunes, it means job security.
“I have kids, young kids that I still have to put through college,” said Seth Rutkowsky, a manufacturing manager at Cambridge. “With this happening right now, it’s peace of mind. I can sleep better because it’s job security.”
When oil prices sank and demand fell for choppers to ferry people to big rigs, business slowed down the Sikorsky supply chain.
If the deal is made, not only will Sikorsky benefit, Cambridge and other local Sikorsky suppliers stand to benefit too.
“It’s in the millions,” said Labbe.
Labbe expects to expand production at his company and hire 20 to 25 more people.
If the deal is passed, Sikorsky has also said it will increase it’s workforce adding several hundred more jobs over the next decade.