seCTer NEWS                                                                                   FALL /Winter 2014
Montville: There are 6 light industrial lots remaining in the Lombardi Business Park located between Rte 85 and Butlertown Rd. with access to City of New London water via a new pipeline for fire suppression purposes. Recent approval for new indoor soccer complex in same location. The lots range in size from 1.85 acres to 7.86 acres. Full site information HERE



Former Bank of America building on Rte. 32, Montville available for lease or purchase. For more information, contact

Chozick Realty at (860) 247-7400




Hiring Incentives are Available for STEM Jobs!

The Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) has funds available for On-The-Job Training of new hires in technical skills jobs. If you are hiring, Click Here first for more Info,  or call Susan Lewis at EWIB, 860-859-4100 x16

I recently attended two ribbon cutting ceremonies in New London and Montville.

The Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce was hosted a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Devine Hydraulics to celebrate their new location. Congratulations to Brian Devine!!

To better service their customers,  Devine Hydraulics, Inc. has moved their headquarters to a modern 40,000 square foot facility located at 179 Gallivan Lane, Uncasville CT.
The Eastern CT Chamber of Commerce welcomed its newest member with a ribbon cutting ceremony for frontier Communications who opened their first retail store in the state in the former AT&T building on State Street. This returns business to a downtown storefront that had been shuttered for more than a year.

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Awards Night

Connecticut's top economic development projects, programs and leaders from across the state were honored at CERC's annual CELEBRATE CT! event. The 2014 CELEBRATE CT! Award recipients for the Southeast region were: Fiddleheads Natural Food Co-op and the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition.

Six years ago, a small group gathered to discuss the idea of a food co-operative in New London.  From that group, a steering committee was formed and thus began the economic driver that is Fiddleheads Natural Foods Cooperative. Fiddleheads has grown from a part-time, all volunteer organization into a fully staffed, full service, full time operation with annual sales exceeding $3,500,000 in 2014; Fiddleheads is the little engine that could! 


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Established in 2012, the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition fosters economic growth by supporting and promoting the arts, heritage and cultural sector. The Coalition recently launched its Rising Tide Series to work with groups, such as historical societies, museum directors, and arts centers; the first time these groups have been brought together. The Coalition's first Cultural Summit brought together representatives from over 50 organizations. The Coalition is CT Office of the Arts' first 'Designated Regional Service Organization' for southeastern CT.
Deborah Donovan, Director of Economic Development and Marketing retired from seCTer on September 26th. She has been succeeded by former Senior Planner for the Town of North Stonington, Ms. Juliet (Leeming) Hodge who started on September 22nd. Read more here.


Paul Formica, East Lyme's First Selectman for the past 7 years, was elected to represent the 20th Senate District. Mr. Formica will be the first Republican to represent the district in more than 20 years. Deputy First Selectman Mark Nickerson will serve as interim first selectman until the town's elections in the fall of 2015.


Stonington's First Selectman, Ed Haberek, has also stepped down after 7 years to accept a position at the Academy for Interactive Entertainment in Seattle, Washington. Democrat George Crouse was sworn in on Dec. 5th as acting First Selectman. Crouse is a retired teacher who has served as a selectman for 5 years. He is well known for coaching the high school tennis teams for the past 40 years. 



Economic Development from the State & Local Perspective: Case Studies and Public Policy Debates 
By David J. Robinson
"Economic Development fromthe State Local Perspective is a public policy roadmap, mixing case law, public policy, and economic strategy, and examining the wide range of issues facing efforts to improve the American economy, to illustrate how economic growth is driven through strong public-private partnerships, and how successful growth strategies from the state and local level operate to grow jobs."

The New Geography of Jobs
by Enrico Moretti

We're used to thinking of the United States in opposing terms: red versus blue, haves versus have-nots. But today there are three Americas. For the past thirty years, the three Americas have been growing apart at an accelerating rate. This divergence is one the most important developments in the history of the United States and is reshaping the very fabric of our society, affecting all aspects of our lives, from health and education to family stability and political engagement. 


"Moretti has written a clear and insightful account of the economic forces that are shaping America and its regions, and he rightly celebrates human capital and innovation as the fundamental sources of economic development."-Jonathan Rothwell, The Brookings Institution







Season's Greetings from all of us at seCTer !!



Lighted Boat Parade - Mystic 



Still Revolutionary
The warm summer days may have given way to brisk fall days with a hint of winter, but things are still bright in Southeastern CT!  The region has seen tremendous investment and state and federal commitment to workforce development, freight rail expansion, and continued growth of our bio-scienceand defense cluster industries. This investment coupled with increasingly optimistic economic forecasts is encouraging. The key is of course sustaining this momentum and witnessing that turning point that many economic experts say is close at hand.


In the recent seCTer  Annual Report, Executive Director, Steve MacKenzie, described 2014 as a very successful year! As a new Executive Director, his goal was to strengthen the corporation internally, while externally re-establishing seCTer's prominence and value added contributions to the region. With his first year completed, and a new Director of Economic Development and Marketing on board, Mr. MacKenzie and the entire staff of seCTer look forward to continued success by finding creative ways to attract investment and stimulate economic development in the Region.  

The Mayflower II navigates its way through the Mystic Drawbridge along the Mystic River enroute to Mystic Seaport, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014.Tim Martin/The Day
Still Revolutionary

The 2014 CEDS update was adopted by the CEDS Committee and the SCCOG Board in September, and has been sent to the EDA for review and approval. Preparation of the 2014 update included discussions about project status with responsible parties and Committee members, identifying changes in economic situation in region since June 2012, and gathering information on potential new projects to add. There were slight revisions made to the 2011 Goals and Objectives to clarify the region's priorities. The next full CEDS for the region will be prepared in 2016. The 2014 CEDS update can be viewed HERE or on our website. I thank the CEDS Committee members for all their hard work on this important project. 

Vital Project and CEDS Action Item Updates:


Freight Rail Line Upgrades: An $8.2 million federal TIGER grant to 

upgrade the New England Central Rail (NECR) line was approved. It will expand freight rail capacity that will help grow the Port of New London, which is underutilized as a commercial shipping hub, and connect towns and businesses through Norwich, Franklin, Willimantic and north to Stafford. 

Pier at the former State Hospital/ Preston Riverwalk Property.


 Preston Riverwalk: So what's all the activity in Preston? What are they doing to the Kettle Building?  If you've driven by you've noticed a lot of activity at the intersection of Routes 2A and 12.  What you see is the final leg of the abatement of the Kettle Building with demolition to begin early in 2015.  At the end of the Lodge Building demolition was completed bringing the total structures demolished to-date to 48 of the original 56 targeted structures (since 2010). Additional funds are being sought from the State and Federal Government to allow for continued clean up on the remaining structures and the Areas of Concern. Effort by the Agency is now shifting from clean up to development, and they are seeing an increase in requests for information and site tours. The Agency is seeking professional input and guidance to ensure the property, the Agency, the Town and the Region are well positioned to move forward quickly with development proposals.



We are thrilled to report growth in The Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance membership by six companies this year! Association president Ray Coombs is hoping to double membership to about 60 by 2015. seCTer is proud to report on the success of EAMA and EWIB and looks forward to continued collaboration.


The two Community  Colleges have partnered with EAMA to further help promote the growth of manufacturing industry in the region, and were recently each awarded approx. $1.2M from the U.S. Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program. This award is part  of a $15M federal grant to launch the Connecticut Advanced Manufacturing Initiative (CAMI). At Three Rivers Community College, the $1.28 million will be used to create an on-campus metals manufacturing course. The demand for manufacturing jobs related to the defense and aerospace industries is high and expected to increase due to Electric Boat's recent receipt of a $17.6 billion submarine contract. See story below.

In November, the Franklin-based Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board announced placement of 220 long-term unemployed into positions after helping them upgrade skills. On-the-job trainees who came through the program averaged hourly wages of $22.28. The workforce board also announced a $700,000 federal grant for local on-the-job training in engineering, information technology and advanced manufacturing. Programs that Executive Director, John Beauregard has overseen have added 358 manufacturing workers to the local economy and have led to $11.3 million in direct economic gains for the region, and an additional $12.9 million in indirect benefits. Click to learn about another great program in the region: Connecticut Early College Opportunity (CT-ECO) program.


CEDS Related Investment in the Region: Port Chester based firm, POKO Partners, are moving ahead with their $25 million project to

Stonington Thread Mill: C. M. Glover for The New York Times

transform the dilapidated 19th-century Thread Mill on River Road in Stonington into 58 one- and two-bedroom apartments (market rate and 30% affordable). The project also includes 9,000 square feet of commercial space. 

Other investment to be celebrated is the expansion of West Marine in Stonington; Devine Hydraulics in Montville; Bionaturae warehouse and distribution center in North Stonington, Sheffield Pharmaceuticals in Norwich; and the Foggy Harbor Spirits Bottling Plant also in Norwich. 


Barn raising at Allegra Farms on Lake Hayward Road, Colchester. Funding was provided by the seCTer Lend a Hand Program.

seCTer currently has approximately 67 loans outstanding with a balance of $5,674.820. At this time, we have approximately $1,600,000 available to lend in all programs. We continue to actively look for Loan Partners and for other sources of revolving loan funds and hope to provide some additional resources to our clients, and potential clients, in 2015. Loan program highlights for this fall are:


  • A loan funded through our Lend a Hand Program was given to Allegra Enterprises to fund the construction of an Amish Style Pole Barn at Allegra Farms on Lake Hayward Road in Colchester.
  • We approved a $250,000 loan for a manufacturing company to be relocated to Connecticut and anticipate a closing in mid-January
  • We met with a local manufacturer, along with Sheila Hummel of DECD, to discuss a potential expansion opportunity that could involve a consortium of funders, including seCTer. 
  • We are working with several commercial fishermen who are part of our Small Business Loan Fund (a/k/a Fisherman's Fund) to ease their cash flow burdens and provide assistance as they continue to feel the effects of ever increasing regulatory oversight and the continuing recession.


Our Loan Management System is being upgraded and we have acquired a Statement Spreading Software System with grant funding provided by Dime Bank and People's United Bank and we are working to get up to speed on these systems so that they can be fully utilized in the coming year.


Lisa Wood, of the Connecticut Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), has been appointed Chair of the Recommended Training Program. She will be working to update and revise this critical APTAC resource.  In this position Lisa will update and rewrite the guidelines used by the nationwide network of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers to train new hires.  The training is a 24 month program that will prepare the new hires to become Certified Procurement Professionals as required by the federal government.

CT PTAP has developed a free webinar series titled "PTAP TALK" to help educate business owners on how to effectively contract with the government. The webinars will be scheduled every month. Check the PTAP Calendar for specific dates.


Responsible & Responsive Bidding

January 21st

Teaming & Joint Ventures


Think Like a Government Buyer


How to Prepare a Federal Proposal


Matchmaker Primer 2015: Making the Most of the Matchmaker


The Matchmaker is Over; What Do I Do Now?


Doing Business with the Federal Government


Doing Business with the State of Connecticut




The 2011 CEDS identified six economic "clusters" driving the economy of Southeastern CT.  Following are recent news items on activities within those clusters.


Our farms in Southeastern CT are not only vital to the preservation of the rural character and charm enjoyed by all who live here and visit, but they are integral component of the overall economic development strategy for the region. One local farm has enjoyed tremendous success and continues to invest in the region. The owner of Maple Lane Farms in Preston has moved his fast-growing black currant juice bottling operation to the Norwich Business park. The Connecticut Currant bottling plant at Maple Lane Farms in Preston will remain in operation and will be used for Mr. Brown's distilled spirits company, Maple Lane Spirits LLC, which makes Foggy Harbor Vodka and cassis - black currant liqueur.


Other good news for Norwich and the Agriculture Sector was the Norwich Community Development Corp. award of a $36,365 U.S. Department of Agriculture marketing services grant to help promote the downtown farmers market locally and regionally. 


Lebanon Town Green

With respect to farmland preservation, the Town of Lebanon recently preserved the 157 acre McCaw Farm and the 354 acre Williams Farm. In late September, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture held its first-ever Farmland Preservation Celebration on the Lebanon Town Green. Commissioner of Agriculture Stephen Reviczky, stated: "few towns have taken greater steps to secure and promote agriculture as a major economic generator." 



Good news for the Southeastern Connecticut region includes the US Navy's announcement of $17.6 billion in contracts for General Dynamics/Electric Boat (EB) to build two submarines a year over a five year period. EB has also hired hundreds of engineers to design a new class of ballistic-missile submarines, and hosted a meeting with over 300 potential Connecticut companies in their supply chain who are expected to benefit from this work. See article below.

USS Virginia enters New London Harbor .Sean D. Elliot/The Day


Photo: Jana Jensen -The Day

Enthusiasm is growing for the proposed Thames River Heritage Park which would comprise multiple sites including proposed 

National Coast Guard Museum, Fort Trumbull and Fort Griswold state parks and the Nautilus, all tied together with a water taxi, common signs and coordinated programming. The pilot run of the water taxi in late September was a success. seCTer and 23 other organizations have written letters of support for this endeavor.



It has been an exciting fall for the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition.  On November 3, the Coalition was awarded a grant from the R.S. Gernon Trust to support the Norwich Arts Events Committee and was then was honored by CERC at the Celebrate Connecticut Awards Ceremony on December 3rd.


The Coalition recently announced its Partnership Program whereby the regional attractions, arts, heritage and cultural organizations provide the Coalition with access to discounts and experiences to regional attractions. These "bundle- packages" of attractions or experiences are then offered to area employers and key individuals to purchase for their discretionary use to boost morale, sales or relationships. This program is a great opportunity for regional employers to gain exposure and contribute to the Coalition. Click HERE for more information.


seCTer is excited to be working with the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition, the Norwich Community Development Corporation, and officials and organizations from the cities of Norwich, New London, and Groton on the application for the newly announced Public Art Challenge Grant offered by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Bloomberg Philanthropies invited Mayors in cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that demonstrate close collaboration between artists, or arts organizations and municipal government. At least three cities will be selected to receive up to $1 million each over two years. The installation would potentially bring millions of visitors and millions of dollars of economic activity to Southeastern Connecticut impacting hospitality, restaurant, retail, arts, cultural and heritage sectors. More information HERE. Keep watching for further announcements!

Rendering of proposed Exhibit Building by Centerbrook Architects

Mystic Seaport has been approved to build an $11.5 million, 14,000 square foot exhibit building at the north end of the museum grounds.  This will give the museum a major attraction in the cold weather months and bad weather days,  project will be in early January.when attendance dips.The groundbreaking for this exciting project.



Despite their track record of bringing 9 cruise ships to New London in one year, the Connecticut Cruise Ship Task Force (CCSTF), has decided to go out of business due to lack of consistent funding. The role of developing and marketing the state's ports for cruise ship visits (and other events) will be assumed by the state Port Authority. 

Rendering of the proposed Coast Guard Museum in New London

Construction of the proposed Coast Guard Museum will certainly revitalize interest in New London, and will be used in marketing efforts.

Our maritime history is so embedded in the region's culture and trades - overlapping our defense and tourism sectors- that with all the exciting plans in the works, we have no doubt that this cluster will continue to be a solid economic driver for the region.


In other positive news, Pfizer has transferred one of its lab buildings to CURE (Connecticut United for Research Excellence), which will open a 24,000 square foot "Innovation Commons" next year providing the many Bio-Science and Technology startups in the region with independent and shared laboratories, numerous offices, conference rooms, co-working spaces and a large meeting and event area. The space will accommodate 7-9 growing companies  and many start-ups. 


TIP Facility at UCONN, Avery Point Campus

Other office and lab space is available through the University of Connecticut's Technology Incubation Program (TIP) which is geared towards helping technology based start-up companies accelerate their growth.  TIP has three locations Avery Point, Storrs and Farmington, there are currently 23 companies involved in the program where they receive business mentoring, access to the university library and network, lab and/or office space, introductions to faculty and student interns, pitch preparation and networking opportunities.  Currently there is available lab and office space at both Avery Point and Farmington.  If anyone is interested please get in contact with either Paul Parker at or Natalie D'Oyen at natalie.d'


seCTer hopes to coordinate with UCONN and the Southeastern CT Entrepreneur's Network (SECTen) to set up a series of  networking events soon. 


With biotechnology becoming a key component of the state's economy members of the SECTen continue to host and attend networking events  - actively working to help potential entrepreneurs navigate and utilize regional assets successfully. See more HERE. 


Proposed interior layout of the CURE Commons Building


Southeastern CT Enterprise Region | |
125 Eugene O'Neill Drive
Suite 309
New London, CT 06320