Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will provide a loan to Oxford Performance Materials (OPM) Inc. for an expansion project at the company’s South Windsor facility. The funding will create or retain 65 jobs for Connecticut residents over the next two years.
“Innovation is a key component to long-term economic growth, and OPM is a company that has embraced that concept and applied it to become a leader in its field and a pioneer in additive manufacturing technologies,” said Governor Malloy. “Connecticut has the right ingredients for success in advanced manufacturing, between our highly skilled workforce and cutting-edge engineering programs at our colleges and universities. With our investments, we are sending the message to innovative companies like OPM that Connecticut is the place to locate and grow.”
OPM, a biomedical company that produces plastic medical implant devices, is expanding its capabilities in additive manufacturing, which is more commonly referred to as three-dimensional (3-D) printing. Additive manufacturing allows manufacturers to produce components by printing one layer at a time until a 3-D part is created.
“OPM is pleased to announce that our leading additive manufacturing technology position has now been recognized by the world’s leading aerospace and defense companies, and we are currently under contract by Northrop Grumann and NASA to continue the development and broad commercialization of our products,” said OPM CEO Scott DeFelice.
Taking the technology to the next level, OPM will apply the method to produce polymer components for the aerospace and defense industries. The Greater Hartford region, long known for its advanced subtractive manufacturing technologies, is now rapidly becoming a globally recognized cluster and leader in additive manufacturing.
“Once again the State of Connecticut is leading the way in helping to grow and retain local jobs and businesses -- particularly those in the high-tech industries that are the keystone of our economic future,” said state Senator Gary D. LeBeau (D-East Hartford, South Windsor). “Connecticut is home to one of the most highly educated, productive and profitable workforces in the nation. When government partners with local industry to expand, hire and succeed, our residents and our state economy are the beneficiaries. And that is exactly what is happening today.”
“I am continually supportive of the Governor’s efforts to move the state forward with these types of programs to assist businesses like Oxford Performance Materials,” said state Rep. Timothy Larson (D–South Windsor).
“Oxford Performance Materials has established itself as one of the nation’s leading biomedical companies, and I am very pleased to see OPM begin to develop their business into the advanced additive manufacturing field. This expansion will help generate more high-paying jobs, right here in South Windsor,” said state Rep. Bill Aman (R-South Windsor).
DECD is supporting OPM’s $9.5 million expansion project with a $3.2 million loan at an interest rate of 2 percent over a 10-year term. The project will add 12,000 square feet to the company’s South Windsor manufacturing facility. DECD will provide $3 million for new machinery and equipment and $200,000 for building upgrades. OPM will be eligible for $1 million in loan forgiveness if it meets its job retention and creation obligations by 2016.
“OPM is still growing, almost tripling its workforce now from 24 to 65 positions,” said Catherine Smith, commissioner of DECD. “I think this speaks to the incredibly innovative companies we have here in Connecticut and to the pro-business programs the state has to assist these companies that are willing to take risks and make significant investments in themselves.”
In 2012, OPM had the distinction of becoming the first company approved for financial assistance through Governor Malloy’s Small Business Express Program (EXP) which supported its move into a newly leased facility with space for polymer processing and additional fabrication technologies. OPM received a $200,000 loan and a $100,000 grant through EXP, allowing the company to double its workforce, make facility improvements, and purchase machinery and equipment.