WNPR

manufacturing

Courtesy: Eugene Montano

2011 was a challenging year if you were running a small business. WNPR’s Harriet Jones has been speaking with small business owners in Connecticut about the year just past, and looking ahead into 2012.

2011 was supposed to be the year the economic recovery really picked up steam. For small business owners, it depends where you were standing.

“It’s been the toughest year, definitely been the toughest year.”

Harriet Jones

December’s a pretty intense month for many people – but imagine if you were a Christmas tree farmer.  As this busy season comes to a close, WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited Staehly’s Tree Farm in East Haddam to find out what kind of a year this has been for the state’s tree growers.

“Hi there… how are you….”

Business organizations in the state have given a qualified welcome to the jobs legislation that passed the General Assembly this week. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it’s been dubbed a “good first step.”

Connecticut Firm Brings Work Back From China

Oct 18, 2011
Sarah Miner

The Senate has approved a measure that would allow Washington to raise tariffs on goods arriving from China.  It’s aimed at addressing what many US manufacturers say is an unfair advantage that China gains by keeping its currency pegged artificially low.  The lure of cheap manufacturing in China has been eroding US jobs for decades. 

WNPR’s Sarah Miner tells the story of the obstacles faced by one small Connecticut business trying to reverse the trend.

 

Last year U.S. companies spent more than $26 billion advertising on the Internet. They’re on track to surpass that record number in 2011. In the latest in our occasional series, WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at the small Connecticut companies who are benefiting from that trend.

Times might be hard in many industries right now, but at the offices of WebSolutions in Meriden, you’d never know it.

Harriet Jones

Connecticut hopes to grow a significant cluster of high-tech companies in fields such as fuel cells, advanced manufacturing and medical devices. But one of the stumbling blocks can be finding cash to develop new and unproven ideas. WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at efforts to fill the funding gap for emerging technologies.

Jolinda Lambert is the CEO of a company called Innovatient Solutions that’s just about 18 months old.

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.

Chion Wolf

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.”

On the Road: PEZ!

Apr 5, 2011
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.

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)

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.

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….”

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.

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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