Shelton legislator reacts to announced Sikorsky plant layoffs

State Sen. Kevin Kelly
State Sen. Kevin Kelly

State Sen. Kevin Kelly said  the state must offer assistance to workers expected to be laid off soon at Sikorsky Aircraft’s Stratford plant.

“Right now my top concern is to help the displaced workers,” said Kelly, a second-term Republican from Stratford whose district includes all of Shelton.

It was announced Feb. 21 that Sikorsky — one the region’s largest employers — would lay off 600 layoffs, with about half of those to lose their jobs being employed at the Stratford factory.

Many Sikorsky employees live in Shelton, among other area towns.

‘Community will suffer greatly’

“I am extremely disappointed that Sikorsky will be eliminating so many jobs here in Connecticut,” Kelly said. “Hundreds of families will be negatively impacted by this decision, and my heart goes out to these individuals.

“Our community will suffer greatly from this loss,” he said.

Kelly said he will send a letter to state Labor Commissioner Glen Marshall expressing his concerns and requesting that the department’s Rapid Response Team be dispatched to educate the workers about training opportunities, job search assistance and unemployment benefits.

Says state economy is weak

Kelly also said the expected layoffs are symbolic of a state with a stagnant economy and limited job creation.

“We also must look at the bigger issues at play,” Kelly said. “Connecticut’s economy is suffering and our job market is shrinking.

“When a layoff of this scale occurs,” he continued, “it becomes clear that Connecticut is in trouble. If our employers cannot prosper, neither can our people.”

Kelly represents the 21st Senatorial District, which includes all of Shelton and parts of Monroe, Seymour and Stratford. An attorney, he was first elected in 2010.