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Blog: Visiting Local Small Manufacturers


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Yesterday, I visited three local businesses in the Fourth District to get their input on creating jobs and reviving the economy. The visits were arranged by CONNSTEP, a non-profit organization supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development which helps Connecticut's small and midsize manufacturers compete and grow.

Eemax Tour 04

I first visited OEM Controls, Inc. of Shelton, a leader in the development of electrohydraulic controllers and control systems for heavy-duty construction machines. I also visited the Macton Corporation of Oxford, which is providing all of the vehicle lift systems and other specialized rail shop equipment used to maintain the new M8 fleet of cars that are just now entering service on the Metro-North rail system. Lastly, I visited Eemax, Inc. of Oxford, which is the number one electric tankless water heater manufacturer in the U.S. and exports to 30 countries around the world. During these visits, I met with senior management, toured their facilities, and held town-hall style meetings with employees.

During yesterday's visits, I learned a lot about what these three cutting-edge manufacturers are doing to grow and expand, even during these difficult economic times. These small manufacturers are beginning to in-source jobs to ensure quality control and take advantage of the skilled, educated workforce available right here in Southwest Connecticut. Innovative local companies like OEM Controls, Macton and Eemax are helping to turn our economy around by growing and creating jobs at home. After visiting these three companies, it is clear to me that Connecticut maintains a vibrant and highly specialized manufacturing sector in the Fourth District.

I heard from both employers and employees that the U.S. government needs to continue to provide assistance in the form of free trade legislation, tax credits and federally-funded training and assistance programs that will allow small manufacturers to continue growing, creating jobs locally, and competing globally. I will continue to do whatever I can as a member of the House of Representatives to ensure that companies like these have the tools they need to grow and create jobs.

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