Connecticut's manufacturing sector
It may surprise some of our readers to learn that Connecticut still has a thriving manufacturing sector. But as Mara Lee reports in the Hartford Courant, "the far northeast corner of the state has the highest proportion of its working residents in factory jobs of any place in Connecticut."
In Thompson, Connecticut, 23% of its working residents held manufacturing jobs during the past decade.
Lee quotes Wesleyan professor Jonathan Cutler who explains that with few other professional jobs nearby, manufacturing provides one of the few viable employment options. Lee reports that many of the towns with higher concentrations of factory workers are small towns located far from any cities or suburbs. Cutler asks "What else is there? Not a lot...That's really also the story."
Northeast Connecticut happens to be home to some interesting manufacturers. Linemaster, a family-owned business in Woodstock, CT, has 150 employees and is the largest maker of foot pedal controls in the country.
There's also Numa Tool, which has 74 employees--almost half being residents of Thompson, CT. Numa's pneumatic hammers can drill deep into rock, as far as 20,000 feet underground. Numa's hammers have been used to dig holes for railroad pylons, and have also been used for construction at ground zero in Manhattan. Lee reports that roughly 40% of the company's sales are outside the U.S., and the hammers are sold in 103 countries.
This is the face of U.S. manufacturing today-- companies that support their local communities by paying good wages while manufacturing high-quality products.
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