Gov­er­nor hears women’s con­cerns at cen­ter

The Norwalk Hour - - BUSINESS - By San­dra Di­a­mond Fox

Im­prov­ing the lives of work­ing women was the over­all theme of Gov. Ned La­mont’s visit to HAYVN on Tues­day.

HAYVN is a cowork­ing cen­ter for women that opened last month on the Bos­ton Post Road in Darien. Many of the women at HAYVN are in transition to the work­force af­ter having chil­dren. Oth­ers are restart­ing their ca­reers.

La­mont toured the fa­cil­ity and chat­ted with about 30 fe­male pro­fes­sion­als, an­swer­ing qual­ity of life ques­tions that were on their minds.

La­mont said HAYVN is an “in­cu­ba­tor for fe­male-led star­tups, which is a big piece of our fu­ture, which is small business.”

Top­ics that the women brought up in­cluded qual­ity af­ford­able child care, re­duc­ing the cost of health care for sin­gle par­ents, and ac­cess to cap­i­tal for women en­trepreneur­s.

La­mont said there are a lot of fe­male-led funds and a lot more fe­male ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists than there have ever been be­fore.

“When An­nie was start­ing, she was the only woman at the table,” he said, re­fer­ring to his wife. “That said, this is a mar­ket that we’ve got to grow and ex­pand.”

He added that, “What I’ve got to do is fig­ure out how to make sure Connecticu­t is a place that folks your age re­ally want to stay — be it more af­ford­able day care, be it eas­ier transporta­tion.”

United Technologi­es Corp.

Be­fore en­ter­ing the HAYVN of­fice, La­mont ad­dressed cur­rent cor­po­rate news in­clud­ing United Technologi­es Corp. re­lo­cat­ing its head­quar­ters to the Bos­ton area.

In light of that, he said em­ploy­ment should not be sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected.

“While the de­par­ture would re­move another cor­po­rate head­quar­ters from Connecticu­t, the merger is not ex­pected to sig­nif­i­cantly af­fect em­ploy­ment here, where the com­pany has 19,000 em­ploy­ees and manufactur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in East Hart­ford and Mid­dle­town,” he said. “Roughly 100 jobs will move from Connecticu­t to the new head­quar­ters.”

“It’s just worth not­ing that what was re­ally im­por­tant to me were the thou­sands of good­pay­ing jobs here in the state of Connecticu­t,” he said.

Pratt & Whitney

La­mont said that not only is Pratt & Whitney go­ing to stay in Connecticu­t, “they are go­ing to grow and ex­pand here — prob­a­bly a thou­sand new hires over the next year.” he said.

“That’s a re­ally big deal and re­ally im­por­tant for the fu­ture of the state be­cause we are a leader in aero­space and we are go­ing to con­tinue to be there,” he added.

Otis

He also said Otis will be stay­ing in the state.

“Otis is go­ing to be its own stand­alone For­tune 500 Com­pany and right now all in­di­ca­tions are they’re stay­ing in Connecticu­t,” La­mont said, adding that this “is a big win for the state.”

La­mont added that “there is a lot of back and forth in the cor­po­rate world right now and I think at the end of the day, Connecticu­t’s go­ing to be stronger for it.”

Transporta­tion

On the topic of transporta­tion, La­mont said he’s sit­ting down with leg­isla­tive lead­ers next week to get a sched­ule for the spe­cial ses­sion.

“I’ve of­ten made the case that we’ve got to fig­ure out how you pay for our transporta­tion sys­tem be­cause that’s part of what’s go­ing to be on the bond­ing agenda,” he said. “If we jam 750 mil­lion dol­lars into our gen­eral obli­ga­tion bonds for transporta­tion, that forces out schools and af­ford­able hous­ing, so we got to fig­ure out how we’re go­ing to pay for transporta­tion, and that’s key to our bond­ing agenda.”

San­dra Di­a­mond Fox / Hearst Connecticu­t Me­dia

Gov. Ned La­mont talks with HAYVN founder Feli­cia Ru­bin­stein.

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