Shelton state reps praise deal to boost Sikorsky Aircraft

State Reps. Larry Miller and Jason Perillo, both of whom represent Shelton, have applauded the agreement unveiled this week between the state of Connecticut and United Technologies Corp. (UTC).

The agreement, which must be ratified by the state legislature, would provide up to $400 million in tax credits to UTC for continuing research and development spending, plus a commitment to spend $500 million in facility development. This includes the company’s plan to build a new global headquarters campus for Pratt & Whitney.

UTC is the state’s largest private employer with 22,200 workers. Sikorsky Aircraft, with its large factory in Stratford that employees many people from Shelton and other nearby towns, is a part of UTC.

Miller: ‘Critical shot in the arm’

“Sikorsky and the UTC group are the backbone of our manufacturing economy,” said Miller, who lives in Stratford. “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.”

Miller is a Republican who represents the 122nd District, which includes parts of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.

Perillo: Growing jobs in vital sector

Perillo said the agreement “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.

“Through this legislation,” he continued, “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 is a Republican who represents the 113th District, which covers most of Shelton.

Details of the agreement

Under the agreement, Sikorsky will keep its headquarters in Connecticut for the next five years. Pratt & Whitney will keep its headquarters in Connecticut for the next 15 years, with a new engineering center.

New facility construction would begin this year and conclude in 2018. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the plan at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

The Connecticut Aerospace Reinvestment Act will require the authorization of $20 million per year of earned but unused tax credits to finance the construction projects. The final amount, up to $400 million, will be determined by the level of jobs, investments, and wages paid by UTC.

The bill needs to be passed by the legislature before the 2014 sessions adjourns on May 7.