manufacturing

Small Business
8:54 am
Fri April 11, 2014

New Haven Cardboard Furniture Company Goes Beyond One-Man Production

Zachary Rotholz of Chairigami.
Alan Yu WNPR

In New Haven, there's a furniture shop where everything is designed, hand-made, and shipped by just one employee working with cardboard.

Now Zachary Rotholz of Chairigami is working with manufacturers in Connecticut to scale up production of his cardboard furniture, and even make it high-tech.

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Workforce Pipeline
3:43 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Manufacturers in Connecticut Continue to Seek Qualified Workers

Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut’s manufacturers have a lot more confidence in the future of their companies, according to a new survey. But they're more cautious about the future of the state.

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MFG4
11:09 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Manufacturing World Coming to Hartford

Governor Dannel Malloy tours MFG4 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford two years ago.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

This spring Hartford will once again play host to the biggest names in the world of manufacturing, as the MFG4 conference comes to town.

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Ironworker Mentoring
12:42 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

City of Hartford Launches Mentor-Protégé Program

Participants in the City of Hartford's first mentor-protégé program, from left: Ian Howell and his mentor, Nick Bonadies; Joslyn F. Chance and his mentors, Cathy Jo and Barry Cousineau; Shane Kelly and his mentor, Arthur "Chip" Martin.
Credit J Holt

Many cities promote minority and women owned businesses by hiring them to provide services. But Hartford is going one step further -- with a mentoring program. 

Shane Kelly is an ironwork contractor, and his company, Kelly Steel, has been a certified minority-owned business for years. He wants to expand his business into more areas of his industry. "I've been apprehensive, you know," he said. "No one wants to mess up."

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Electric Cars
11:36 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Any Way It's Measured, Tesla's $5B 'Gigafactory' Is Huge

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:31 pm

Just how big a deal is the "gigafactory" that Tesla Motors says it's going to build to make batteries for its electric cars?

-- It's projected to cost $5 billion between now and the year 2020. Tesla expects to invest about $2 billion. Partners — who it's rumored could include Apple and Panasonic — would invest the rest.

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Connecticut First
11:42 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Judge Upholds State Gun Law; South Carolina Company Apologizes for Email Ad

U.S. District Judge Alfred Covello upheld the state’s tough gun control law, while acknowledging that it affects Second Amendment Rights.  He said the measure is constitutional. In response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, State lawmakers added more than 100 firearms to the state’s assault weapons ban and restricted the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said they’ll appeal.

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Aerospace Ramp-Up
3:59 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Malloy Seeks $25 Million for Manufacturing Support

Chris DiPentima of Pegasus Manufacturing speaks to a press conference with Governor Malloy and DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith.
Credit CT-N

The Malloy administration wants to set aside more cash to help the state's manufacturers. The proposal seeks authorization from the legislature to set up a $25 million fund to help advanced manufacturing companies.

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Economy
4:33 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Manufacturing 2.0: Old Industry Creating New High-Tech Jobs

Unlike the smoky, eardrum-damaging factories of yesterday, today's manufacturing is going high-tech. That can mean more robots and automated machines than workers. But companies like Machine Inc. in Stoughton, Mass., are still growing and hiring.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 6:07 pm

As the U.S. economy continues to recover, it has been getting some help from an unexpected place. After decades of massive job losses, manufacturing firms have been steadily creating jobs — many of them well-paying. One particularly bright spot is a new generation of high-tech manufacturers.

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Labor Negotiations
4:18 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Machinists Ratify Contract and Face Job Cuts

Pratt and Whitney's East Hartford headquarters.

Machinists at jet engine maker Pratt and Whitney have voted narrowly to accept a new three year contract. The deal was controversial because of differences over job security.

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Advanced Technology
2:11 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Technology Center Offers Help to Small Manufacturers

A five-axis waterjet cutting head can be used to cut intricate, three-dimensional parts on a CNC waterjet cutting machine -- the kind of technology that can be too expensive for small manufacturers.
Credit WARDJet / Creative Commons

Manufacturers who want to solve technical problems or use new advanced processes are being offered state assistance. The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology in East Hartford is looking for up to five small or mid-sized companies for its Manufacturing Technical Assistance Program

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Economic Development
9:14 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Commission on Connecticut's Future Meets to Discuss Industry, Sustainability

Economist Patrick Flaherty of the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Research presented jobs data Monday morning.
Credit CT-N

The Commission on Connecticut's Future meets Monday morning to discuss economic renewal in the state. The commission is examining the manufacturing industry and defense-related industries along with environmental sustainability. A report is due to the governor by this time next year. 

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Spotting Talent
8:04 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Manufacturing Event Targets Future Workforce for Connecticut-Made Products

The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. had several 3D printers on display.
Sujata Srinivasan

October is “Manufacturing Month” in Connecticut, and efforts are underway to create the next generation of engineers and innovators as part of the state’s “Dream It. Do It” program. Companies, nonprofits, academic institutions and the state government are working together to promote the high-tech sector to youngsters through month-long events such as “Manufacturing Mania,” where school kids are exposed to manufacturers and career opportunities.

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Where We Live
10:00 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Small Business After Hours: The Not-So-Quiet Corner

Live radio inside The Vanilla Bean in Pomfret, Connecticut.
Credit Tucker Ives / WNPR

Have you visited the Quiet Corner lately? In nighttime satellite imagery, it shows up as a swath of darkness in a field of twinkling lights. This rural area is larger than you might think - it’s about half the size of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, and about ten times the size of Acadia National Park in Maine. And it’s almost 80 percent forest and farmland.

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U.S. Senate
8:10 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Connecticut’s bell man runs for U.S. Senate…in Kentucky

Remember Matt Bevin? He’s the owner of East Hampton, Connecticut’s Bevin Brothers bell factory. It burned down last year and received tons of support from the community – both emotional and financial support.

Some of that financial support may come back to bite Matt Bevin.

After the fire, Bevin’s bell factory and its sister company, PSI Plus received $200,000 from the state of Connecticut to help it rebuild. The problem? Bevin is running as a Tea Party candidate.

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Manufacturing
5:42 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Connecticut Gun Maker Headed to South Carolina

Courtesy: PTR Industries

A Connecticut gun manufacturer is moving to South Carolina after the state legislature passed stricter gun control laws. Bristol's PTR Industries is the first gunmaker to formally announce a move.

For all the hype over Governor Rick Perry's Texas promotion this week, it was South Carolina that got the first nod from a Connecticut gunmaker. 

"PTR Industries will be relocating its entire facilities to Horry County, South Carolina, in the town of Ayner."

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News
6:46 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Final Results Released In Pratt & Whitney Cancer Study

Researchers have released their final results in a huge, decade-long cancer study involving Pratt & Whitney workers.  

Concern over the health and safety of workers at Pratt & Whitney began in the early 2000s. Several workers, all employees at the North Haven plant, were found to have died from a rare form of brain cancer.  

Researchers were brought in to first, find out how many cases of cancer there were among workers; then compare that with rates among the general population.

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Where We Live
11:43 am
Mon May 13, 2013

The Skills Gap

Chion Wolf

President Obama said in his second inaugural address that he believes America’s growth rests “upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class” - he wants everyone to find independence and pride in his or her work. But is there a job for everyone? Is our working population ready? 

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Where We Live
2:46 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

What's Up With Stuff?

Mike Baird (Flickr Creative Commons)

Seventeen days after a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, a woman was pulled alive from the rubble. But more than 1,000 people have been confirmed dead in the tragedy.

This has renewed questions about where all the stuff we buy in America comes from.

NPR’s Planet Money has been trying to tackle this question for the last three years by making their own t-shirt.

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News
9:38 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Companies Learn to Blend Physical and Virtual Commerce

The debate over the Amazon tax seemed to put e-commerce giants on one side of a bright line, and brick and mortar businesses on the other. But the fact is that the distinctions between real and virtual businesses aren't so clearly defined.

 

Manufacturing might seem to you and me to be the ultimate brick and mortar business. It's an industry where you make things you can drop on your toe in a building you can walk into. Not so, says David Drake.

 

"All the commerce I do is done electronically."

 

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Where We Live
12:05 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Small Business After Hours: Prepping Young People for Jobs

Chion Wolf

In his State of the Union address, President Obama issued a challenge:

"To grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require. But we also have to make sure that America remains a place where everyone who’s willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead."

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News
10:40 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Goodwin Targets Manufacturing Training

Goodwin College in East Hartford has become the first in the Northeast to offer a new manufacturing certification course. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

 

Goodwin College has more than 3,000 students, and according to its president, Mark Scheinberg, a simple mission.

“We differentiate ourselves insofar as we want to make sure that everything that students are getting will lead to some career when they finish.”

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Manufacturing
4:36 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Sustainable Building Systems, Inc. to Open Global Headquarters in Connecticut

Diane Orson

Governor Malloy announced on Wednesday that a newly formed company - Sustainable Building Systems, Inc. - will establish its global headquarters in Connecticut with financial help from the state. The startup is expected to employ more than 400 people within four years.

The joint venture between Arizona-based Diverse Services Group and The Weeks Group of Australia will be headquartered in North Haven. 

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Electronic Plants
9:36 am
Thu June 30, 2011

From North Stonington To China

Harriet Jones

A lot of effort in recent years has been focused on reducing US dependence on foreign oil. Not so much thought is given to making that oil last longer. One small North Stonington company sends technology around the world that does just that. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Taking the Next Step Toward Business
1:03 pm
Mon May 9, 2011

Is Connecticut Really Open For Business?

Harriet Jones

Governor Malloy has declared the state of Connecticut open for business. But many small businesses find when they come in contact with state government, their first experience is frustration. WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at just how well the state is doing in streamlining its approach to business.

This is Larry’s Auto Power in Groton, and that’s a race car engine on the test block.

“We do street performance engine rebuilding, racecar engine building.”

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:10 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

On the Road: PEZ!

Chion Wolf

Don't miss Chion Wolf's amazing photography from our trip to PEZ. No, seriously. Don't miss it. You'll be sorry.

PEZ was first marketed as a compressed peppermint candy over 83 years ago in Vienna, Austria. The name PEZ was derived from the German word for peppermint... PfeffErminZ. Today, over 3 billion PEZ Candies are consumed annually in the U.S.A. alone.

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Manufacturing
9:16 am
Tue April 5, 2011

Connecticut Aerospace and Engineering Company Using Local Talent

In 1970, a former Pratt and Whitney employee, Henry A. Backman, started the aerospace engineering and manufacturing company HABCO in Glastonbury with only 5 employees.

40 years later, his daughter, Kristen Muschett, owner and CEO of the company, employs 32 people, and oversees a growing portfolio of innovative products. WNPR's Sarah Miner reports.

(Machines working on the shop floor)

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Health Care
9:59 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Health Care Crisis for Connecticut's Small Businesses

One of the biggest financial concerns most small businesses face is providing health care. This week, WNPR’s Small Business Project is taking a two-part look at the health care crisis facing small employers. In the first of her reports, Harriet Jones talks to the businesses that are feeling the pinch.

Adchem Manufacturing Technologies in Manchester is a very successful Connecticut small business, employing 35 people.

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Aplicare
10:53 am
Fri February 25, 2011

Bringing Work Back To Connecticut

Aplicare

Getting into the international market can be both exciting and challenging for a business. It offers the chance for new customers and growth, but it’s also a steep learning curve. WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited one Meriden firm that’s sending Connecticut-made medical products all around the world, and bringing work back from overseas.

“So this is our production floor. We have 21 production lines, that are operating on two shifts….”

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Tool Manufacturing
12:36 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

Milford Manufacturer Bucks The Trend

Harriet Jones

Manufacturing used to be a mainstay of employment in Connecticut. Competition from lower-cost states and overseas production has decimated the industry. But small manufacturers persist in the state and are finding ways to survive. WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited one shop in Milford for our latest small business profile.

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Manufacturing
12:20 am
Thu February 10, 2011

Small Manufacturers Find Ways To Thrive

Harriet Jones

Connecticut has around 5,000 manufacturing companies. You may be picturing Pratt & Whitney or Electric Boat, but of course the vast majority of manufacturers are small businesses. WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at the challenges facing those firms in a shrinking industry.

It’s a typically busy day on the shop floor at Prestige Manufacturing in Milford. Ken Dugan has run this business for 27 years.

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