PLAINVILLE - U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he is optimistic about the nation becoming a global aerospace manufacturer during his visit to Connecticut Tool & Manufacturing Tuesday.
“I think we are going to be the world’s aerospace supplier,” he said.
The company is part of Whitcraft LLC, a Connecticut-based aerospace manufacturer.
The leadership team at Connecticut Tool & Manufacturing introduced the company to Blumenthal, provided background information about the company and offered an overview of the industry. The meeting was followed up by a tour of the plant.
“I’m a relentless advocate of the stuff you make,” Blumenthal said. “What you do here is so critical to our national defense.”
One of the industry-wide topics Blumenthal spoke about with Connecticut Tool & Manufacturing employees was the need for a well-trained workforce. Blumenthal said big manufacturers across the state have employees who are near retirement age, adding the issue of retirement is “a big deal” because the state does not have enough of a skilled workforce to replace those who will soon leave the industry.
Colin Cooper, co-executive chairman of Whitcraft LLC, told employees that Blumenthal is a strong supporter of local manufacturing.
“The senator is a tireless supporter of a lot of programs that are very important to us here at Connecticut Tool, important to the Whitcraft Group and important to all Connecticut’s supply base,” Cooper said. “He has been a big advocate for us and we are delighted to have the opportunity to show him what we are doing here.
“We acquired the business originally in 1998 and then have done a number of strategic acquisitions over the years growing out the portfolio of products,” Cooper said. “We’ve grown that business and we’ve added complimentary businesses.”
The company has three sites in the state, in Eastford, Plainville and Southington, as well as plants in Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona and New Hampshire.
Whitcraft has three main product categories, including precision machined products, many of which are manufactured at Connecticut Tool & Manufacturing. The company also works with precision formed sheet metal and sheet metal fabrications.
The Southington plant, AcuCut, was acquired about two years ago. There are about 70 employees at AcuCut and about 190 at Connecticut Tool & Manufacturing.
Some of the company’s top customers are Pratt & Whitney, United Technologies, Sikorsky, GE Aviation, Honeywell and Paradigm Precision.
“We have fairly broad and deep capabilities in manufacturing technology,” Cooper said. “What we do is when we acquire this businesses we really focus on bringing our business practices to them.”
To learn more about Whitcraft LLC, visit www.whitcraftgroup.com .
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.