CT: The Lee Company to Invest $50M, Expand in Westbrook, Add 200 Jobs
5 Jun, 2014
Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced funding for The Lee Company to grow its business operations in Westbrook as part of an expansion project that will keep 862 current employees in Connecticut and create up to 200 new positions for residents.
“After its founding following the end of World War II, Lee Company quickly became a catalyst for advancing and securing Connecticut’s position as a leader in aerospace manufacturing, contributing to both the Space Race and the Jet Age,” said Governor Malloy. “Lee Company has now grown into one of the largest high-tech manufacturers in the world and a leader in its field, all while serving its community and helping to build the state’s supply base. That’s why I’m proud to announce our support for this project to ensure Lee Company and its family will be able to continue building on its 66-year legacy for many more generations to come.”
As part of its $50 million expansion plan, Lee Company plans to create as many as 200 new jobs over the next several years and will add several buildings to its main campus in Westbrook, including 18,000 square feet for sales and 79,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
“We are proud to be announcing this cooperative agreement between the State of Connecticut and the Lee Company. This is a win for the Company, a win for our employees and a win for Connecticut,” said William W. Lee, president and CEO of The Lee Company. “We have been investing in Connecticut for 66 years now and look ahead to many more decades of growth here. Our employees continue to drive us forward and produce the world’s highest quality hydraulic components. Our ongoing investment in facilities and equipment will allow them to meet our worldwide customers’ needs.”
The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will provide a $10 million loan, at an interest rate of 2 percent interest over 10 years, to be used to purchase new machinery and equipment. The company may be eligible for up to $10 million in tax credits through the state’s Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment Tax Credit Program (URA). Connecticut Innovations will also provide a sale and use tax exemption of up to $950,000 for capital improvements.
“Today’s agreement with The Lee Company shows that they are committed to Connecticut, but it is also a signal that manufacturing in this state is as strong as ever,” said DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. “Today’s manufacturing is high-tech, precise, and on the cutting-edge, and Lee Company leaders know there’s no better place to find the right business and educational resources, and the talented workforce than here in Connecticut.”
With every 50 new employees hired, Lee Company will be eligible for loan forgiveness of $2.5 million. Employees must be hired and retained for a consecutive 12-month period within five years before receiving any forgiveness. The total of 1,062 full-time jobs may be located at any of the company’s Connecticut locations.
“For decades, The Lee Company has been a key engine for our local economy – a job creator,” said State Sen. Art Linares (R-33). “Last year, when I visited the company, I told employees that we will keep working to improve the business climate in Connecticut. We look forward to The Lee Company’s expansion and continued job growth, and we appreciate the state’s support for manufacturing jobs.”
“Governor Malloy and Lt. Governor Wyman have been strong supporters of manufacturing and our local shoreline economy. I'd like to thank them both for investing in the future of Lee Company,” said State Rep. Tom Vicino (D-35). “The Lee Company has a steadfast reputation as a great business that puts all of their employees and their families first.”
The Lee Company, a leading supplier of miniature, precision fluid control products for a wide range of industries including aerospace, Formula 1 racing, oil exploration, automotive and off-highway equipment and medical/scientific instruments, occupies more than 700,000 square feet of modern manufacturing and office space at three sites in Essex and Westbrook.