Connecticut receives $1.25 million grant for aerospace and defense manufacturing

The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT) and the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will receive a $1.25 million grant in order to continue the Regional Aerospace and Defense Exchange (RADE) initiative.

The initiative was created to analyze the effects of contract reductions to the aerospace and defense supply chain industries in Connecticut and New England. The funding will come from a U.S. Department of Defense of Economic Adjustment (DoD OEA) grant. Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement this funding greatly helps the two industries.

"Connecticut's aerospace companies are among the best in the industry, and our receipt of this DoD grant speaks to the major role they play in the national defense supply chain," Malloy said. "We are talking about an industry that employs tens of thousands of workers and generates billions of dollars in economic activity and tax revenue – it is simply too important not to prepare ourselves for possible cuts to defense spending."

Major funding from grants
This is not the first time Connecticut has received federal grants. In 2011, 5 percent of all federal contracts that were awarded to the state were for the aerospace and defense industries.

During that time, more than 1,100 aerospace and defense vendors were awarded $12.7 billion in contracts from the DoD and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to the Defense Technology Initiative. To put that into perspective, that is a 51 percent increase from 2003, showing Connecticut is a major player in these fields. These contracts also produced $859 million in state and local tax revenue and contributed to the employment of 40,000 people, according to the Hartford Business.

Aerospace and defense manufacturers, like the ones in Connecticut, may need to hire new workers to meet the demands. Businesses can look to manufacturing recruiters or supply chain recruiters to help find experienced workers in the aerospace and defense industry.

Pumping money into the economy
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-New Haven) said these contracts help fuel the economy of the state and provide citizens with jobs.

"Connecticut's defense manufacturers are not only a core part of our state's economy, but help keep America strong. We have always been a state that does not just buy things, we build them, and we are the stronger for it," DeLauro said in a statement. "As a major economic driver, we need to be prepared for how defense cuts could impact Connecticut and its workforce."