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State Senator

Andrea Stillman

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Representing Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Salem & Waterford

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Contact: Andrew Ammirati
860-240-8671

June 6, 2012

Stillman, Connecticut Labor Officials, Others Highlight New Jobs Generated at Waterford Manufacturing Business

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State Senator Andrea L. Stillman (D-Waterford) held a press conference today at Jaypro Sports, a Waterford-based manufacturing company making good use of state-sponsored economic development programs to expand its business and its workforce. Senator Stillman and others then toured the company’s facility and operation.

Senator Stillman was joined by state Department of Labor Commissioner Glenn Marshall and John Beauregard, Executive Director of the Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board (EWIB). They were the guests of Bill Wild, Executive Vice President of Jaypro.

“The job growth and economic development initiatives recently enacted utilize a productive collaboration of public sector resources with private sector ingenuity and success, and it’s particularly gratifying to see the results we envisioned benefit a close-to-home business and its new employees here at Jaypro Sports,” Senator Stillman said. “A residual benefit of this success story is the infusion of capital into the local and regional economy as those with new jobs begin circulating their new, reliable wages.”

Senator Stillman said Jaypro hired four new employees using Connecticut’s STEP UP program, through which eligible businesses receive state funds to subsidize the training of new employees. Jaypro has also been approved to receive tax credits and recently qualified for a state grant.

“The assistance for small manufacturers in CT through programs like STEP UP Grants & Wage Subsidies, 21st Century Training Grants, Small Business Express Matching Grants and Job Expansion Tax Credits has been instrumental in our recent decision to expand our workforce and begin to bring back work that was once outsourced,” said Bill Wild, Executive Vice President of Jaypro. “These programs give us confidence in our ability to compete nationally and internationally, while providing our outstanding employees opportunities to learn and grow right here in Southeastern CT. We are invested in Connecticut, and we’re really glad Connecticut is investing in us.”

“STEP UP has proven to be a successful incentive that creates jobs and helps companies to grow,” noted Labor Commissioner Glenn Marshall. “Governor Malloy and the General Assembly have placed a priority on supporting innovative strategies to strengthen our state’s economy and with nearly 220 new employees hired as a result of this program, I believe STEP UP provides one of the best tools available for creating workforce opportunities in Connecticut.”

“The Norwich-New London portion of Eastern CT has been hit particularly hard by large volume layoffs,” said John Beauregard, Executive Director of the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board. “Re-employment efforts like STEP UP are critical to our economy because, for the most part, recovery begins one job at a time and requires a sustained effort with our employer base by numerous state and local partners such as those involved in this initiative.”

Jaypro Sports has designed and manufactured safe and durable team athletic equipment in Connecticut since 1953 and in Waterford since 1972. Its product line includes goals and equipment for volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball, football, lacrosse, field hockey, player and spectator seating, tennis, equipment storage solutions and numerous physical education products. They can be found in schools, universities, town parks and private athletic clubs all over the world.

As part its manufacturing commitment and to maintain its competitive advantage and cost effectiveness in the United States, Jaypro continues to invest in state-of-the-art machinery and equipment, and in recruiting, training and retaining its employees. Jaypro also holds numerous patents and dedicates part of its engineering department to designing innovative products and improving existing ones. The recent Small Business Matching Grant was awarded to assist Jaypro in launching an innovative Ultraviolet Sports Ball Sanitizer called the GermNija. This will be a big benefit to schools and athletic programs working to protect the health of their athletes and student body. It will be used by the USA Olympic Volleyball teams at their training centers in LA and London this summer.

Jaypro is also working to minimize the environmental impact of its manufacturing. In the past couple of years it has installed a 110,000 square foot rooftop Advanced Energy Solar Panel System and an energy efficient system to color finish and protect outdoor sports equipment that uses 25 percent less energy than standard powder coating systems with minimal environmental impact. It has also installed new bending and milling machines to replace inefficient ones, and a new plasma cutter enables the company to bring back in house work that was being outsourced.

“It is my hope that during next week’s Special Session the legislature acts to expand the Small Business Express program enacted last fall because it is currently limited to companies with up to 50 employees and we want to expand that to those with up to 100 employees,” Senator Stillman said. “I also hope the legislature extends state assistance to unemployed, post-9/11 veterans through an expanded STEP UP program.”

“Job growth and economic expansion will never be the sole purview of just one segment of our state,” Senator Stillman added. “Business owners and the private sector must be supported by public sector policies and the resources to back up those policies. Waterford’s Jaypro Sports is a case in point about how this partnership can, does, and will work going forward.”

 

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