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Sikorsky Leaving Bridgeport Plant, Consolidating Jobs To Stratford HQ

June 3rd, 2015 · 58 Comments · Development and Zoning, News and Events

Sikorsky Aircraft announced on Tuesday that it is “exiting its current facility in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and relocating employees to the Stratford, Connecticut facility. It is important to note that none of these announced layoffs are a result of the facility consolidation.” The company announced global workforce reductions including 180 jobs in Connecticut. Sikorsky operates a satellite office in the South End.

Statement from spokesman Paul Jackson:

“Sustained decreases in oil prices continue to drive significant declines in capital investments by oil companies in offshore oil exploration projects impacting Sikorsky and resulting in reduced production levels. Additionally, Sikorsky continues to experience softness in demand for certain international military products.

“As a result, we informed employees today of a global workforce reduction of approximately 1,400 production-related positions, which includes a mix of employees and contractors. These actions affect Sikorsky’s facilities in Poland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut and will take place over the next twelve months starting immediately. As part of this activity, the company will vacate smaller satellite facilities and consolidate remaining production volume into larger campuses in Poland, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut to include exiting its current facility in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and relocating employees to the Stratford, Connecticut facility. It is important to note that none of these announced layoffs are a result of the facility consolidation.

“We will work closely with the impacted employees to ease the transition, and with all our employees, customers and suppliers to ensure continued delivery on all our business commitments.”

CT Post reporter Hugh Bailey has more.

Statement from Mayor Bill Finch:

Today, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced it will move  its Bridgeport operations at 1210 South Ave. to its facility in Stratford. There will be no loss of jobs for the workers currently at the Bridgeport plant. The employees will be shifted to the Stratford facility as part of the company’s consolidation.

“Unfortunately, the global market for aircraft has prompted a consolidation of facilities,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “Their decision makes smart business sense for them. We’re glad there was no job loss and that Sikorsky will continue to pay taxes on the property it owns in Bridgeport. This also presents a unique opportunity for further growth in our Eco-Technology Park.”

After a roughly 50 percent plunge in oil prices, exploration and production companies are cutting capital budgets, service companies are weighing layoffs and non-energy firms support the industry are bracing for a protracted slowdown, according to the Wall Street Journal. Last June, oil was selling at $115 a barrel. By January, those prices had plummeted to just $45 a barrel.

The resulting decline in offshore drilling, closure of rigs and delays in deep sea exploration has prompted a sharp decline in orders to Sikorsky for its commercial helicopters, which are used to transport employees to and from offshore rigs. Commercial and industrial sales account for 45 percent of sales for United Technologies, Sikorsky’s parent company.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that “contrary to the negative impact from weak U.S. defense spending and lower helicopter demand from the oil and gas sector, Sikorsky will see gains from a few recent defense contract wins. Last year, the company won a contract to build the next fleet of Marine One helicopters, and the contract to produce the next generation of combat rescue helicopters for the U.S. Air Force. Together, these two contracts hold a sizable production backlog for Sikorsky. In December, Sikorsky also bagged a key Indian Navy helicopter deal.

“However, despite these contract wins, the bottom line is that Sikorsky is a low-margin, slow growing business, which is highly dependent on U.S. defense spending. U.S. government contracts constitute more than half of Sikorsky’s total sales. The company’s shipments have also struggled to grow in recent years. In 2014, Sikorsky shipped 178 military helicopters, marginally up from 177 it shipped the year before, and it shipped 59 commercial helicopters, down from 63 it shipped in 2013,” the newspaper reported.

Paul Timpanelli, the president and CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, said the consolidation presents an opportunity to further expand the city’s Eco-Technology Park, which has become a national model for green energy and businesses.

So far, Eco-Technology Park has resulted in more than 200 jobs and many more to come. And, these new jobs have resulted in more than $10 million in annual personal income, according to the Connecticut Post.

“This gives us a great opportunity. The Eco-Technology Park is growing. One challenge has been we lack enough land to offer to companies that are inquiring about opening businesses in Bridgeport,” said Mayor Finch. “This will help us bring in new businesses that will create new jobs for Bridgeporters.”

Ø Click here bit.ly/1B1gLhz, here bit.ly/1dclOTN and here bit.ly/1dcr5KT to read about the expansion of green jobs in Bridgeport

“The decision by Sikorsky to close its Bridgeport South End plant, a location that has been a part of their manufacturing  plant inventory for many years, and recently employed hundreds of workers, does not come as a surprise,” Timpanelli added. “Sikorsky, a long-time quality employer in our region and specifically in Bridgeport, is in the process of consolidating manufacturing functions around the world to better position the company to compete in an ever-changing global marketplace. Part of that consolidation strategy is to make the company more efficient, lean and productive. These Bridgeport-based jobs will be, for the most part, transferred to the Stratford location, and, therefore not lost to our region. Sikorsky, we are confident, will continue to be a major regional employer and positive regional economic force.

“The good news here is that the South End Sikorsky plant will provide Bridgeport with much needed inventory of clean, usable manufacturing space located within Bridgeport’s increasingly desirable Eco-Technology Park,” said Timpanelli. “Because of what we have been able to achieve in partnership with the city over the last few years, the South End Sikorsky plant will now be perfectly positioned for reuse, it will be near new sources of renewable, clean energy that will critically reduce power costs, and it will be in a renewed neighborhood with many new companies and added tax incentives that come with the formalization of the “Eco-Park.”

Bridgeport’s economy also is growing with major economic development projects downtown and at Steelpointe, creating hundreds of new jobs and adding millions of dollars to the tax rolls. Steelpointe Harbor is a 52-acre peninsula off of the Long Island Sound. Construction is underway there for a new Bass Pro Shop and a Starbucks and Chipotle restaurant. And that’s just the beginning. Once complete, Steelpointe Harbor will serve as a 2 million square foot super regional waterfront, featuring more than 750,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and entertainment, a 12-screen premium theater, two hotels, 1,100 mid-and-high rise residential units, 30,000 square feet of office and a 200-slip full service deep water marina.

Ø Click here bit.ly/1Lm8pEk, here bit.ly/1AJ8H7u and here bit.ly/WjaKvZ to read about ongoing economic development in Bridgeport.

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58 Comments so far ↓

  • BptPorter

    This is not really a big deal because Mayor Finch has Starbucks and a Chipotle coming to Bridgeport and a movie theatre. This will make up for Sikorsky. This means more land for Mayor Finch to build more public housng, build more parks, and extend the UI solar panels. Bridgeport is getting BETTER EVERY DAY!!!

  • Maria Pereira

    Steve, is this a sign of all the development and jobs Finch is bringing to Bridgeport? Although the real estate taxes will continue, this will reduce personal property taxes. In addition, Finch constantly claims the surrounding community is positively impacted when development comes into a neighborhood, therefore it is only logical when a large employer leaves a community, it impacts the surrounding neighborhood negatively. Am I correct, Steve?

  • John Marshall Lee

    Steel Point Infrastructure Improvement District covers 69 acres? Or 85 acres as a posting may have suggested? Or a 52-acre peninsula, as above? Bridgeport managed to acquire all the land necessary for SPIID at a total cost of (unknown values from 2000 to 2012) according to OPED? If you are taxing, generally having a good handle on acreage is critical.
    (Steve Auerbach, please stay in your sandbox, or behind the fence with a hard hat looking at the cranes. I do not want you to be hurt for sure. By either construction equipment gone awry, or numbers you don’t enjoy thinking about.)

    Can we, for common agreement find the correct name, acreage and some basic fiscal info on what has come to be referred to as Steal Point? Might we know how much the land in development is worth today: City ownership % and Cristoph % and the tax payments expected in the first year by the developer? Time will tell.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Give me a hard hat, a sandbox and the ability to watch cranes and I will be a happy camper. Sure beats your incessant whining sounding like nails on a blackboard.

      • John Marshall Lee

        Steve,
        It is obvious financial issues occupy very little of your brain function, and that is OK by me, and probably other readers. However, fiscal issues matter. Some cities are attractive because there is opportunity at a fair price. It’s a balance thing. If you do not consider the fair price, reasonable expense, opportunity cost or financial downside as well as upside, you are missing the boat. Or in your case, things financial sound like fingernails scratching on a school blackboard. Not pleasant but also indicating a partial view of the scene.

        So keep looking at development as a “yellow Tonka truck in a sandbox” experience for yourself and be happy. And my repetitious fiscal reporting and questioning only seems incessant because your team leaders Mayor Finch, OPM Sherwood, Finance Director Lenz, OPED Director Kooris, CAO Nunn and elected Council President McCarthy in too many of their efforts have kept the fiscal truths, reports and trends PAID FOR BY TAXPAYERS from being seen by those same people. Revaluation results in 2013 paid for by taxpayers but seen by only a few of the above, perhaps were so negative they were kept from the public who had funded the $300,000 of expense to the firm doing the revaluation.

        What you call whining are merely words hitting your tin ear for which you have no response and neither do the employed members of the team you are seeking praise for. Keep rooting, Steve. It’s a free country and thank to Lennie we have a place where active discussions can sometimes move to real issues, like fiscal secrecy. Perhaps someone in City Hall would care to explain why the report to the City Council is not put on the Finance or OPM web site each month. And then they can inform us why a GREEN MAYOR keeps pumping out 80-90 page reports monthly when the mission of the Charter can be easily accomplished in fewer than 20 pages a few more Council persons might read and begin to understand. Can you share those questions with the Finch team, Steve? Time will tell.

  • BptPorter

    Here’s a campaign slogan. BILL FINCH–SOFT on JOBS or Bill FINCH–building more parks than jobs, compared to any other mayor! or BILL FINCH–”Replacing the Arsenal of Democracy with vacant land” or BILL FINCH–”In with DiNardo, Out with Sikorsky” or BILL FINCH–Got Economic Development?

    • Bob Walsh

      That’s right. Did we ever do that deal where we were taking land by eminent domain on South Ave so Sal or the city or someone could build an access road for when Sikorski closed down a road as part of their expansion yadda, yadda, yadda? How did that thing work out for Sal???

  • Jimfox

    Bridgeport is getting Better every day!

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Mayor Finch!

  • Jimfox

    Okay, where’s Stevie Auerbach now???

    Gee, I’m glad they didn’t do this in an election year!

    Timpanelli, go back to Trumbull, you a-hole!

  • BptPorter

    Steve is going to say this is not Billy’s fault and this is an international issue, and to this I say if Bridgeport were doing its job it would have retained Sikorsky or would have negotiated and this is why the workers are going to STRATFORD and not Bridgeport. Why? Because taxes are ass-high in Bridgeport. Now this is every mayor’s fault but Billy didn’t do anythimg to keep them. What a soft mayor. MR. SOFTY on JOB Creation.

    • Steven Auerbach

      BptPorter, you know me well. Like I said, the press release from Sikorsky was clear. Clear enough for a moron to understand.

      This is an opportunity for Bridgeport and the timing is perfect.

  • Steven Auerbach

    First, may I say thank you to all bloggers giving me celebrity status.

    JML, I am not even sure what in hell your point was. Save your nonsense. Jimfox, honestly you aren’t just a ridiculous man. Maria, this is not the BOE and this topic is way out of your comfort zone to be speaking on your own behalf or for Joey.

    This is a sad day and that is what the posts should have said. As much as you would like to blame Mayor Finch you are just wasting your breath. I think Sikorsky explained their reason clearly enough so even the morons on this blog could comprehend.

    As much as I personally appreciate the Mayor’s spin as well as Paul Timpanelli on growing the green technology, I see an amazing piece of Real Estate I’d love to buy and develop. This is about as close to a beach as possible and from what I remember there are quite a few developers interested in upscale development at the other end of Seaside. I wish they posted the acre. Other than Steelpointe, Steelpointe, Steelpointe, this piece of real estate has the most contiguous acres of land second to the huge Remington Woods property bordering Nob Hill all the way to where the New Warren Harding High School will break ground.

    It is particularly sad you guys and gals see this as some reflection of Bill Finch. Perhaps you are ecstatic because maybe some ill-advised candidate will attempt to put a spin on it. This may be a temporary blip but I see the city through positive eyes and I would hate to have such depressing narrow-minded people taking your rap to the streets. If I were the city I’d be trying to acquire the property from Sikorsky and RFP it. The market is improving and with Steelpointe Steelpointe Steelpointe dominating our news for the next 20 years I’d imagine there will be an awful lot of interest in this property.
    Thank you all for attacking me before I made a comment. But I made it and let’s see if your candidate can fight their way out of a paper bag in a vain attempt to connect this bad news with Finch’s leadership.

    Honestly guys, you are all negative buzz kills. How about a constructive comment from those supporting a convicted felon?

  • Maria Pereira

    Steve, I feel quite comfortable speaking on this issue. As I have stated previously, I speak for myself, not for Joe Ganim.

  • Jimfox

    Run Joe, Run!

  • Quentin Dreher

    This is a direct result of the fiscal policies of the administrations at both the state and city levels. Spend, borrow, tax!
    This is only the beginning. Hold on tight!

  • Maria Pereira

    I left the Capitol at 3:00 a.m. and returned by 12:30 p.m. I found a courageous Hartford legislator to submit an amendment to remove all the funding for Dr. Perry’s Charter School yesterday. He told me Ezequiel Santiago, Jack Hennessy and Andre Baker agreed to support it. Once he drafted the amendment, Jack and Ezequiel signed onto the amendment, but Andre Baker refused to sign it. Steve Stafstrom told other legislators this was not an issue in his district. Stallworth has been openly supporting Dr. Perry’s Charter School.

    Speaker Sharkey got wind of the amendment and confronted Ezequiel and Jack and reminded them this was one of “Malloy’s highest priorities.” A meeting of the six Bridgeport state reps. was called. Stallworth, Baker, Rosario and Stafstrom said they would not support the amendment and they would vote against it. Jack and Ezequiel folded and refused to support the amendment. I have repeatedly been told “I am scared of being a Malloy target.” Our elected representatives shouldn’t be scared of being a “target” of Malloy. They clearly have forgotten they represent their constituents, not Malloy.

    I have spent seven consecutive weeks at the Capitol and what I have heard repeatedly from other legislators and lobbyists is the Bridgeport delegation is “weak,” and has “no backbone.” One legislator told me they have “no balls.”

    One legislator told me you have to especially get rid of Stafstrom and Rosario because they are “arrogant” and in “Malloy’s back pocket.” I was also repeatedly told Stallworth and Baker were “dumb.”

    Ezequiel and Stafstrom specifically told me they agreed, and would support no funding for new charter schools in Bridgeport. Chris Rosario told Joanne Kennedy the PTSO President of Bassick he agreed there should be no funding for new charter schools in this budget. Marilyn Moore told me both Steve Stafstrom and Andre Baker had committed to not fund Dr. Perry’s Charter School in this budget.

    Before Ed Gomes ran in the Special Election, I personally met with him and had him personally commit to NOT support the funding of Dr. Perry’s Charter School, or any other charter school. He did not even flinch and committed to this particular issue. I then committed to raise money for him and deliver Thomas Hooker School for him.

    It looks like every single member of the Bridgeport delegation is going to vote for this budget without so much as proposing an amendment to remove the funding.

    As I asked yesterday, is there any Bridgeport politician whose word means anything?

    My policy where a politician only gets to lie to me once is in full effect. I will absolutely not support a single member of the current Bridgeport delegation in 2016. My goal is to ensure every single one of them is challenged.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Even Stallworth, Maria? Joe Ganim’s number-one supporter behind you? Maybe you should have spoken to Joe.

      • Maria Pereira

        Especially Stallworth. My specific representative cannot support charter schools. Not only has he publicly supported it at the Capitol, he has repeatedly allowed Dr. Perry to speak at his church.

        I will however give him credit for not lying to my face and telling me he does not support charter schools and then vote to fund them in the budget.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      You are so on point about the overall reputation Bridgeport has in Hartford with the rest of the state reps. It is very discouraging as a citizen to go speak and lobby for good legislation while hearing disparaging comments in the halls about our city and elected officials. We have a few good people serving in Hartford, with good intentions, ideas, hard-working to make a difference and do the right thing. Sadly, they are perceived as lacking just because of their zip code. And, to your point, the concern more often than not seems to be focused on reelection and not what we were promised when we supported their election.

    • Hector A. Diaz

      Maria, if I give you my word on an issue you can take it to the bank. When we allow individuals the luxury to not hold true to the traditional practices, we have what we have now.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Also notice Sikorsky Facilities in business-friendly states, Florida, Alabama and Texas are not affected? Time will tell!

  • Quentin Dreher

    BptPorter, I am unable to get into details but you are exactly right. Not only am I a lifelong resident but I worked at that facility for 33 years. This tears my heart out!

  • Tom White

    This announcement is not unexpected. The ministry of public enlightenment had plenty of time to develop a silly response. This will allow the expansion of the ‘Eco-Technology Park?’ The soon-former Sikorsky plant will make a great mattress-recycling facility.

    Damn, Bridgeport is getting better every day. A long-time manufacturer closes their facility and this administration and the regional business organization is assuring us Bass Pro Shops, Chipotle and Starbucks are proof of the success of economic development by this administration.

    Let’s call it what it is, a disappointment. Instead of the hollow, rehearsed ministry of public enlightenment statements, just express disappointment on the loss of a long-time employer.

    Lennie, can you look through the media release and see if Timpanelli gave a breakdown of the employers in the Eco-Technology Park that employ 200 people?

    I’d like to visit this Eco-Technology Park. Oh, it does not actually exist? It is a concept? Nevermind.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Tom, current employment at the Bpt facility is between 350 and 400. And they all order lunch at local take-outs, some get their gas and cars serviced at Nunes (convenience during work hours), coffee at the Dunkin Donuts by the state police, etc.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Well like I said. This is sad news and all the posts should have reflected such. This is not a kick in the teeth to the Mayor. This is just a sad day for Bridgeport. We march on. Maybe MJF will make this a cornerstone of her special announcement tomorrow. I hope not.

  • Bob Walsh

    Steve,
    Offer Sikorsky a buck for this piece of property. They’ll take it. You will be responsible for the superfund-like cleanup.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Bob, I will tell you what. You get the property for a buck and I’ll pay you $20 and I will get the funds to clean up and get a developer to create a new landmark building. A building that will enhance the South End and change the image by our beach and the University of Bridgeport. I see a great opportunity and it would behoove any developer to talk with Sikorsky. Look 10 years down the road. Maybe the University is enjoying massive expansion like Sacred Heart. Maybe a highrise dorm and expansion of the campus. The problem is we think very small. We are the largest city in the state. Fairfield county. Water views? Look forward. Stop looking backwards hoping to bring back manufacturing especially to this great location.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    More industry and good jobs leaving Bpt, Finch’s answer? Starbucks is coming! That building will remain empty for years now, eventually becoming a shelter for squatters, falling into disrepair, then eventually getting destroyed by a series of fires. It’s like a bad movie that gets played over and over again in Bpt.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Bob, Sikorsky has spent tens of millions of dollars to clean up the land.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Steve, this is absolutely a kick in the teeth to the mayor and the previous administrations before him. The property tax, per square foot, at the BPT facility is the highest of all the CT facilities.

  • Bob Walsh

    I will take your word on the clean up and that includes any properties Sikorsky is using in the South End; owned or leased. It is in the flood zone so future development is extremely problematic.

    • Steven Auerbach

      You are such a pessimist. You hear that sucking sound? Bob, it is you sucking the hope and optimism out of the blogosphere. Thank G-d for the youth who will bring in new ideas and life.

  • Bob Walsh

    Steve,
    Reality bites.
    So do you.

  • Jeff Kohut

    There is plenty of blame to go around in regard to our loss of the Bridgeport Sikorsky operation.

    We can’t put it all on Mayor Finch. Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, Congressman Jim Himes, Dan Malloy, all need to answer to the people of Bridgeport for not taking the proper interest in the retention of that operation for Bridgeport.

    I am sure they were aware of the likelihood of the closure of that plant, along with Mayor Finch, who did nothing to encourage measures that might have saved the operation. (When I visited the Seattle area in 2013, I recall the coverage in the Seattle area media of the efforts of the mayor of Everett, WA to solicit contracts to keep the huge Boeing plant in Everett going at full capacity. This was a demonstration of what a real mayor does to maintain/improve the economy of their municipality. They take proactive, creative measures. I never heard slogans in Everett of “Better every day …” or any such BS.)

    The corporate leadership of Sikorsky must also be scrutinized; they seem to be unwilling to look beyond military contracts as a means to survive/thrive, and they are too willing to shortchange quality for bottom-line reasons, a policy which is sure to backfire on them later (e.g., their outsourcing of work to foreign countries without the technology/expertise of US operations). They are also unwilling to parlay technology and engineering/materials expertise to exploit/develop the markets of other product areas (such as alternative energy products).

    The Stratford plant will probably also close within the next two or three years as the effects of the TPP et al. succeed in reducing American manufacturing to a minor status in a nation that will no longer have a viable middle class. As it now stands, the US standard of living, while continuing a decades-long decline, is dependent on the false economic strength of dollar-leveraged borrowing from the rest of the world.

    As we become less and less productive, as we manufacture and produce less and less, in terms of real, value-added products, our “excess” consumption will eventually devalue the dollar and our real poverty will be exposed.

    The closing of the Bridgeport Sikorsky plant is just a harbinger of things to come. Connecticut is on the leading edge of this developing American economic collapse. (We barely avoided facing the reality of our faux economy back in 2008. Our day of reckoning, as a nation/economic entity, is coming.)

    Who will spend money at Bass Pro, Chipotle, and the other idiot attractions at Steal Point when only a handful of people in the region are making living wages? Without good jobs in and around Bridgeport, Steal Point will be stillborn, and the Downtown will never thrive.

    Which of the mayoral candidates has a real plan–with specifics–to bring the billions of dollars of development and the tens of thousands of related Bridgeport-based jobs to this city that are needed for us to thrive again? So far I’ve heard plenty of nothing from the candidates.

    Who has a real plan? (Stupid slogans don’t count!)

    • Local Eyes

      American growth has never been about planning. That’s something Sikorsky is doing now. Besides, they’re downsizing, not disappearing. Things aren’t as bad as they seem.
      As Connecticut enters its entrepreneurial future, expect to see some losses from its industrial past. This process started in 1965 when Bridgeport found itself on the wrong end of fiscal policy.

  • JMart

    The State of Connecticut is going to turn into Detroit if we keep on the Tax and Spend way. Look at the news. Aetna, GE and Boehringer Ingelheim stopped the CT Legislature and Malloy in their Tax Happy tracks.

  • Dave Walker

    Sikorsky leaving Bridgeport is another blow to the City. It will reduce our tax base once they leave. The budget that just passed in Hartford will make Connecticut less competitive. It violates the state Constitutional spending cap and raises taxes again! Listen carefully for the giant sucking sound soon!

  • Jimfox

    This consolidation of Sikorsky helps no one. Those 500 Bridgeport Sikorsky employees will now be fighting for their jobs in Stratford.
    Every Union member knows what’s coming next! Our City, State and Federal delegation dropped the ball on this consolidation move by Sikorsky. When Electric Boat was thinking of laying off some 500 employees Sen. Blumenthal moved in to stop the ripple effect and to support the region’s defense industry. So where’s Blumenthal, Jim Himes, Murphy, Finch, Timpanelli now?
    Joe Ganim would have called for a summit and done everything in his power as Mayor to stop Sikorsky’s consolidation move from Bridgeport!
    Finch and Timpanelli’s lack of experience is showing!

  • hope I can sell my house

    Timpanelli lacks experience? Hasn’t he been in the same job for more than 30 years? How much more experience does he need? Or perhaps, he and Finch are cut from the same cloth.

    • Jimfox

      When a city like Bridgeport hands out tax abatements for 10, 20 and 40 years and while your company is paying taxes on property and equipment every year with no relief in sight, and every day is Ground Hog Day just like the movie, then how can we find fault with Sikorsky? The Finch/Timpanelli team has given away the city’s Grand list with tax abatements for the next 20 years hoping old companies like Sikorsky would not notice!
      Now for the ripple effect, so who’s next, Bill Finch?

  • Hector A. Diaz

    Does anybody know how the BRIDGEPORT BILL (conflict) did? With all the trips the Speaker and his first Lt. did on behalf of a certain candidate, it’d be nice to know if they are only f’ing us on educational issues.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Jeff, you are wrong on a couple comments about Sikorsky. First, Poland is an assembly plant for international Black Hawks, no American aircraft is built there. The other international facilities are joint venture repair stations. Too expensive to ship here for repairs and return overseas. That was a customer request built into the sale of the helicopter. Also all of Sikorsky outsourcing was done to American companies in American states. Quality is #1 in Sikorsky. Absolutely no quality is sacrificed in offloading. It’s only a business decision to move “back shops” to business-friendly states. You’re also wrong about Sikorsky looking beyond the military. In the last 10 years Sikorsky has purchased a “fixed-wing” assembly/repair facility in Texas along with a smaller commercial helicopter manufacturing company, and has grown its aftermarket business 10-fold. As far as technology, engineering/materials Sikorsky is leading the way in this category. Soon they will be unveiling the first automatic flown helicopter and the new Raider is made with state-of-the-art materials and has broken all speed records by a helicopter.

  • Jeff Kohut

    Quentin; gear assemblies are machined in Poland–it isn’t just assembly. And assembly is a big job generator. Better assemble it here and ship it there–they’re shipping parts and materials anyway.

    The small number of jobs attributable to fixed-wing repair and other after-market services don’t do much for the company and shouldn’t be more than a small part of a long-term income-generation plan for Sikorsky.

    Sikorsky needs to think outside of the box, utilize its resources, and get into peacetime-related manufacturing in a big way, and they should do it in the USA–especially in their home state of Connecticut at their onetime main operation in Bridgeport.

    PS: There were problems with gear assemblies made in Poland from the get-go.

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