Training Group Says Hartford Region In Midst Of $5.4 Billion In Construction Projects
BY MATTHEW STURDEVANT
September 08, 2011
A new report identifies 114 projects and $5.4 billion in construction work that will happen through 2015 and beyond in north-central Connecticut.
What is not clear is how this compares with any previous period — because no similar study has been done in the past — or whether it means that there will be an increase in the number of people working in the construction field in the region or state.
The first-of-its-kind analysis by Capital Workforce Partners looks at public and private projects, though much of the work identified is government funded. The projects, including the controversial busway connecting Hartford and New Britain, will require 57 million hours of labor and create 41,055 jobs, primarily in Hartford, East Hartford, New Britain, Bristol, Canton and Simsbury.
Details of the report were revealed at a media event Thursday morning at Union Station in Hartford, with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, officials from the state Department of Labor, Capital Workforce Partners and others.
"We've got to keep the state of Connecticut moving again, moving rapidly — steel in the air, bricks being laid, concrete being put down, products being purchased," Malloy said. "It will rebuild our retail system. It will rebuild the strength of our economy. It will move us from this place where we've been stuck at about 9.1 percent unemployment."
The list of projects includes state Department of Transportation projects, including: $499 million for a Northeast Utilities power-transmission system from Suffield to Bloomfield; $313 million for the busway; $94 million for the University of Connecticut Health Center; $56 million for a public safety complex in Hartford; $65 million for a Connecticut Studios film center; $71 million for University of Connecticut east and west buildings; and $50 million for a state Department of Public Health laboratory.
Construction jobs in Connecticut have dropped by 26 percent from early 2008 to July 2011, the most recent month for which job statistics are available. Construction employment has had modest gains since bottoming out in December 2010, but the number of jobs remains about the same as in 1995 — less than the annual average between 1996 and 2009, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor statistics.
Construction employed as many as 69,100 across the state during the summer of 2007, and the sector fell to 48,600 workers in December before creeping up to 50,900 as of July.
To see the report, visit http://www.capitalworkforce.org.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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