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Malloy to attend upcoming Paris Air Show, recruit new businesses to state

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People gather to view planes at Le Bourget airport, near Paris on June 23, 2013 on the last day of the 50th International Paris Air show. (Credit: ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

HARTFORD — Gov. Dan Malloy will be attending the International Paris Air Show next week, which is considered the largest aerospace industry gathering in the world.

As a major player in the aerospace industry, with 28,000 jobs tied to large employers like Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky, the state Department of Economic and Community Development thinks it’s “really critical for him to be there,” Catherine Smith, the commissioner of the department, said.

Malloy is expected to show support for 10 Connecticut companies exhibiting at the event. While this is down from the previous two shows in 2013 and 2011, it is still a boon to the local economy. In 2013, Connecticut attendees secured $162 million in new business.

“Connecticut remains one of our nation’s aerospace leaders and the governor is proud to support in-state companies, work to attract new ones, and promote Connecticut as a leader in that industry,” Devon Puglia, the director of media relations for the governor’s office, said in a statement to Fox CT.

According to the Hartford Business Journal, here are some of the companies planning to attend from the state:

  • Aero Gear, Windsor
  • Aerospace Alloys, Bloomfield
  • CNC Software, Tolland
  • EDAC Technologies, Farmington
  • Flanagan Industries, Glastonbury
  • PCX Aerostructures, Newington
  • Reno Machine, Newington
  • Whitcraft, East Hartford

Malloy is scheduled to attend the air show Sunday and Monday. The Department of Economic and Community Development is paying for the trip, which is expected to cost $5,100, which it says it is happy to do because “it’s been an incredibly effective program for the state for the last several years” in recruiting new business.

“This year is particularly helpful for him to be there…because we’ve already made a number of contacts with both European countries and South American companies who are considering locating in Connecticut,” Commissioner Smith said.

Senate Minority Leader Kevin Witkos told Fox CT that he thinks the timing couldn’t be worse, considering the recent budget debacle and how that has led General Electric, Aetna and other major employers in the state to say they might leave the state.

“Our major business is saying guess what, we’re out of here now. And with all of these messages the governor has chosen to go on taxpayer expense to attend an airshow in hopes to bring businesses back to Connecticut,” Witkos said. “He needs to be here. He is the leader of our government.”

However, Smith says that just because he’s recruiting new business doesn’t mean he’s abandoning the ones already here. “This is a very short trip for him, he’s going to be in Paris for about 24 hours with the airshow.  My feeling is, this only happens once a year it’s really critical for him to be there and help us. And I know he will not lose a beat on making sure he’s listening and working with the local companies here.”

More than 2,200 exhibitors are expected to be on hand, representing most aerospace companies from around the world. The Connecticut firms offer a variety of aerospace-related products and services.