Shelton legislators praise CT House passage of aerospace bill

State Reps. Jason Perillo and Larry Miller, who both represent Shelton, are applauding the House passage of legislation that will provide tax credits to United Technologies Corp. (UTC) in return for the company upgrading and expanding its aerospace research and development and manufacturing facilities in Connecticut.

“This is good news for the economic future of the state and our region, and great news for the thousands of people who depend on the family of UTC companies for their careers,” said Perillo, a Republican who represents the 113th District, which includes most of Shelton.

“Through this legislation we will be demonstrating both a commitment to keeping a great employer in this state that is a leader in its industry, and to making sure that our region retains and grows good jobs in a vital sector of our economy,” Perillo said.

‘Critical shot in the arm’

Miller called Sikorsky and the UTC “the backbone of our manufacturing economy.”

“These tax credits will directly result in the creation of hundreds of new jobs for our area and give a critical shot in the arm to the state’s aerospace technologies, helping to maintain our status as a national leader in this area,” said Miller, a Republican who represents the 122nd District, which includes parts of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.

Tax credits for R&D, new facilities

The agreement will provide up to $400 million in tax credits to UTC for agreeing to invest up to $4 billion in research and development in the state. The company will keep the Pratt and Whitney headquarters in Connecticut for 15 years and the Sikorsky headquarters in Stratford for at least five years. The company will build a new engineering center in Connecticut.

The legislation is the result of an agreement between the state and UTC that was unveiled in February by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. UTC is the state’s largest employer with 22,200 workers, and includes Sikorsky Aircraft, Pratt & Whitney, and UTC Aerospace Systems.

Sikorsky employs many people in the region at its local helicopter plant, including Shelton residents.

Creates jobs at suppliers, too

“UTC is the catalyst of this initiative, but the investments called for in this bill go well beyond one company,” said Malloy, a Democrat.

“The agreement will have a direct impact on employment in almost every city and town in Connecticut, not just at the UTC companies, but also in the hundreds of aerospace supply chain companies throughout the state and the region," Malloy said.

The Connecticut Aerospace Reinvestment Act was approved by a 134-4 margin in the state House of Representatives. The total amount of tax credits to be granted to UTC, up to $400 million, will be determined by the level of jobs, investments, and wages paid by the company.