Senator Hwang, CT Manufacturing and Business Leaders Laud and Tour Newtown’s Curtis Packaging

April 2, 2024

Media Contact:
Joe Canino

Senator Hwang, CT Manufacturing and Business Leaders Laud and Tour Newtown’s Curtis Packaging

NEWTOWN – Senator Tony Hwang joined Connecticut Business Industry Association (CBIA) President Chris DiPentima and Connecticut Chief Manufacturing Officer Paul Lavoie to laud and tour Curtis Packaging Corporation, to commemorate a historical anniversary for a community staple manufacturing company located in Newtown since the mid-19th century. The event also served to recognize the technological innovation and workforce staffing challenges faced by CT manufacturing businesses.

CBIA celebrated the 105th year of Curtis Packaging’s membership in CBIA and the continued contributions of Curtis’ management in leadership roles in the organization. Donald Droppo Jr., Curtis Packaging’s CEO and president had previously served on CBIA’s Board of Directors and remains an engaged leader in CT manufacturing.

The trio discussed various needs in the state’s manufacturing sector, and how the state can better position manufacturing companies for success.

Connecticut’s manufacturing employment numbers have still not recovered to pre-pandemic totals. There are thousands of job openings across the state, but not enough new hires to fill positions. State officials are looking to tackle this worker shortage head-on, with legislation in the works pertaining to investment in apprenticeship programs, providing access to association health plans to reduce healthcare costs, and providing economic incentives for graduates of Connecticut schools to remain in the state after graduation.

“Curtis Packaging has provided significant contributions to Newtown as an economic and philanthropic contributor. As a former member of the Governor’s Workforce Council, I have seen that building a robust manufacturing industry will be key to augmenting the capabilities of companies like Curtis and taking Connecticut’s economy to new heights in the future. An investment in manufacturing is an investment in skilled, well-paying jobs with quality benefits. We strive to be well-positioned as a state to attract new hires with educational incentives and promote manufacturing technology. ” Remarked Senator Tony Hwang.

“We’re working hard now on the sales side to really drive additional business in. And once we get to a certain breaking point, we’ll have to start hiring,” said Donald Droppo Jr., Curtis Packaging’s CEO and president. “You don’t just hire two or three people in printing and just run an extra shift because you need all the support staff around them. It’s a real big investment.”

“My goal is to get to full employment in the manufacturing sector by 2030,” said CMO Paul Lavoie. “What that means is that we need robust workforce-development plans, we need a robust workforce-growth plan, and then we need a robust workforce-innovation plan to be able to drive innovation. And that’s an area where we are currently under-focused and under-resourced in making sure we’re providing manufacturers with what they need.”

“Connecticut manufacturers like Curtis Packaging are a critical piece of the state’s economy, with a skilled workforce that’s second to none,” said CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima. “It’s imperative that the state continues to invest in manufacturing to help address the workforce crisis, lower the high cost of doing business, and promote the innovation and growth necessary to build for the future.”

Companies like Newtown’s Curtis Packaging Corporation are looking for the state to provide incentives to attract manufacturing workers to Connecticut. Many manufacturers in Connecticut are investing in automated equipment due to the scarce employee market, however, they hope that this increase in capital expenditures could spur revenue growth and correlate to more hiring.

Picture 1: (Left to Right) Senator Tony Hwang, CBIA president CEO Chris DiPentima, Curtis Packaging CEO and president Donald Droppo JR, Chief Manufacturing Officer Paul Lavoie.

The post Senator Hwang, CT Manufacturing and Business Leaders Laud and Tour Newtown’s Curtis Packaging appeared first on Connecticut Senate Republicans.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *