News from Representative Larson

Dear Friends,
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From East Hartford to Barkhamsted, the First Congressional District is proud to be on the forefront of innovation, technology, and advanced manufacturing. Yankee Ingenuity and a tradition of manufacturing expertise have - for generations - positioned Connecticut as a leader in aerospace manufacturing. For nearly 100 years, the First District has led the way in both civil and military aviation. Today, over 15,000 Connecticut workers from large employers like Pratt & Whitney to suppliers, like GKN, contribute to the F-35 program alone.

Thousands of Connecticut Jobs Secured

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Rep. Larson learning about the manufacturing of the F-35 from Pratt & Whitney employees.


In 2011, I fought to preserve Pratt & Whitney as the sole manufacturer of the F-35 engine. The “Alternate Engine” being produced by General Electric and Rolls Royce was duplicative, a waste of taxpayer dollars, and was opposed by our military under both Presidents Bush and Obama. However, we had to convince Congress to cancel this wasteful program. Former Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL) and myself led the effort and we were ultimately successful, culminating in a vote that united Tea Party Republicans and Progressive Democrats. Canceling the Alternative Engine program has meant that Pratt & Whitney remains the only supplier of engines to the F-35. This protects Connecticut’s manufacturing base for decades to come, so that thousands of our highly-skilled, highly trained workers will continue to work on the nation’s most advanced military programs.

Economic Impact

Last year, as a Co-Chair of the Joint Strike Fighter Caucus, I led the fight to secure funding for 93 F-35 aircraft. According to Lockheed Martin, this increase has led to over 7,000 new jobs in Connecticut and an increase of $415 million in economic impact in the state. As result, production for the F-35 now supports over 15,000 jobs in Connecticut and more than 7,000 in the First District alone. Its economic impact in the state is now $1.5 billion and in CT-01 the impact is $786 million.

Manufacturing Ecosystem

The success and hard-work in securing single-source Pratt & Whitney contracts for the F-35 has created a manufacturing ecosystem that will sustain the next generation of machinists and secure Connecticut as a leader in aerospace technology. In 2011, I helped launch the CT Manufacturing Job Match initiative to connect employers with skilled workers. And in 2014, I led the creation of a partnership with Goodwin College, Pratt & Whitney, The International Machinist Union, CCAT, and the State of Connecticut to address the skills gap. As a result, there are now programs and courses in the state aimed at growing the pipeline of skilled and credentialed workers, ensuring Connecticut will remain an aerospace hub.

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Regards,
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John B. Larson
Member of Congress

 

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