State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) and State Representatives Laura Hoydick (R-120), Ben McGorty, (R-122), Jason Perillo (R-113), released the following statement regarding the news that Sikorsky Aircraft will no longer handle repairs to Marine One helicopters after negotiations with the U.S. Navy fell through. The Navy will instead be moving repair work internally to a center in Florida. Connecticut will no longer be the location of repairs, a change which will impact the 85 Sikorsky employees who handle repairs in CT.
“This is clearly a very difficult time for our community and our families,” said Sen. Kelly. “Last week we learned of nearly 600 Optimum layoffs occurring in Stratford and Shelton. Last month we learned of potential Sikorsky layoffs. Now, we find out another 85 jobs at Sikorsky will be impacted by a decision to move work out of Connecticut. This trend is disturbing. It shows just how important it is that our state work to grow our economy and reduce business costs so new jobs can come to our state. We need to create an environment where opportunity flourishes – now more than ever,” said Kelly.
“While it is important for us to continue our efforts to assist displaced workers and their families in availing themselves of state assistance, and ultimately finding new jobs, these unending pieces of bad economic news appear to be part of a trend that bears out what I and many of my colleagues have said for a long time – that our state needs to change the policies that are leading to a worsening economy at home, while all other states have moved well beyond the ‘Great Recession’,” said Rep. Jason Perillo.
“The announcement that the U.S. Navy will not be contracting service for Marine One helicopters at Sikorsky is more bad economic news for our region, and the state overall,” said Rep. Laura Hoydick. “Sikorsky has been a cornerstone of our region since 1929, and the economic troubles of the state continue to hit it hard. I will certainly be joining my colleagues in an effort to ensure that any workers displaced from this unfortunate event are able to find new positions, but ultimately we need to take the important steps needed to change the economic course our state is charting, or we will continue to get more news like this.”
“I’m so disappointed to hear the news about the Navy not continuing to contract its service with Sikorsky for the Marine One helicopters,” said Rep. Ben McGorty. “I think the decision is a mistake, but it reflects the overall struggles our state has had when it comes to our economy, and manufacturing in particular. We will certainly be looking out for our friends and neighbors who are impacted by this. Getting them back on their feet is important, and working to improve our state’s business climate and economic viability are clearly more essential now than ever.”
Sen. Kelly added: “Last month, the Stratford Delegation asked the Department of Labor to place their Rapid Response Team on standby in anticipation of potential Sikorsky layoffs at the end of August. The Department has also already deployed help to assist those being displaced by the Optimum layoffs. I along with my fellow local state lawmakers will continue to work closely with the Department of Labor to make sure the state’s best supports – from job training assistance to employment search help – will be available to our community during these difficult times. We need to provide short term assistance to help people find new work opportunities. We also cannot lose sight of the long-term solutions our state needs to grow new jobs and promote a healthy economy. The state’s current policies are not working.”