Local Manufacturers Urge Guv To Veto Budget

On Wednesday Gov. Dannel P. Malloy should find on his desk a letter from the New Haven Manufacturers Association (NHMA) urging him to veto the proposed state budget.

That was the word from Marna Wilber (pictured), the long-time director of corporate communications and public relations at ASSA ABLOY, who was re-elected president of the board of directors at NHMA’s annual meeting on Monday.

“We feel some of the taxes in the proposed budget would be burdensome to small and medium manufacturers,” Wilber said in an interview Tuesday that summarized the gist of the letter.

The “we” includes not only the Greater New Haven based NHMA but four other smaller manufacturers associations around the state, she added.

Click here to read the association’s release about the letter.

The $40.3 billion two-year budget passed last week by the legislature, which awaits Malloy’s signature, raises $2 billion over the next two years in part through some raised taxes on corporations and hospitals as well as cancellations of previously approved tax cuts. Click here for a story by the CT Mirror’s Mark Pazniokas about Malloy’s efforts to contain an outcry from the business community about the budget.

“We’re asking him to veto the proposed budget to look at this again,” she said.

On specifically New Haven matters, Wilber said that her group has been working closely with city schools and with Mayor Toni Harp and the city’s economic development team to prepare people to take advantage of local manufacturing jobs.

“We have a workforce enhancement committee, 30 strong, and they focus on different areas of the educational system within the state,” she said of NHMA’s members.

Practically that means opening up the factories for kids to tour as well as working with the committees of the local technical and other high schools and community colleges as they hone their curricula so graduates are more ready to step into jobs, she said.

Wilber cited specifically:

• A Materials and Manufacturing Summer Teachers Institute which is entering its third year. A collaborative effort with Southern Connecticut State University, it begins this July.

• The new STEM (science, engineering, technology, math) program at Hill Regional Career High School, which is entering its second year

•A new program with the IDEA Academy at Hillhouse High School

She did not have statistics on local hiring by NHMA members, but at ASSA ABLOY, 35 percent of the workforce hails from New Haven, East Haven, or West Haven, she said.

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