Connecticut To Study Impact Of Defense Cuts On Industry Supply Chain Through OEA Grant
Defense Communities 360
January 27, 2014
DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) has awarded the state of Connecticut and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) a $1.3 million planning grant to better understand how cuts in federal spending on defense contracts will affect New England’s defense supply chain and industry-related work performed in the state and region.
“We are talking about an industry that employs tens of thousands of workers and generates billions of dollars in economic activity and tax revenue — it is simply too important not to prepare ourselves for possible cuts to defense spending,” Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) said in a written statement.
The grant, which will support a joint effort by the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and CCAT, also will explore the importance of skills development in the region to meet the changing needs of the industry, and regional opportunities for enhancing the defense and aerospace sectors. The initiative is intended to enhance the region’s capacity to support local communities with economic diversification and workforce development.
More than 1,100 Connecticut aerospace and defense vendors received nearly $12.7 billion in federal contracts from DOD and the Department of Homeland Security. In 2011, defense contracts were responsible for the direct employment of about 40,000 workers and indirectly supported an additional 55,000 jobs in related industries. Aerospace and defense contract awards to Connecticut firms and institutions represented 95 percent of all federal contract awards to the state that year.
“The aerospace and defense industries are key economic drivers in the state, and the supply chain is a valuable regional asset,” said DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. “It is critical that Connecticut and the region address the possible impact of defense spending adjustments and plan mitigation strategies that safeguard continued employment and growth opportunities.”