STAMFORD, Conn. -- State lawmakers are expected to vote Wednesday on the deal to keep Sikorsky in Stratford until 2032, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was making sure they understood how important the deal — and Sikorsky — is to Connecticut.
A week ago, Malloy announced an agreement in which Sikorsky promises to retain 7,500 jobs in the state and is holding out the possibility of hiring a thousand more workers.
On Tuesday, Malloy swung by the Stamford Innovation Center at 175 Atlantic St. to meet small business owners and startup executives as part of his pitch to get support for the Sikorsky deal.
"Sikorsky is an important innovator in our state, technologically speaking," Malloy told the group. "It's an important accomplishment we are about to patch in on."
Peter Propp, chief marketing officer at the Stamford Innovation Center, said Sikorsky has been a major supporter of the center.
"They want to be engaged in startups, and they have been incredibly supportive of us," he said. Due to security at the Sikorsky site, it is cumbersome for technology startups to operate in that environment. He said it is easier for Sikorsky to support startups in another site like the center.
Earlier in the day, Malloy toured two Sikorsky suppliers in Stratford with Stratford Mayor John Harkins and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.
Malloy said the $220 million in financial incentives the state is offering in the deal is justified by Sikorsky's commitment to the state and by the effect it will have on suppliers.
Malloy and the mayors visited United Aero Group and BTX Global Logistics – which serve as suppliers to Sikorsky Aircraft. As part of the state’s pending agreement, Sikorsky plans to double its annual spending among in-state Connecticut suppliers.
Also part of the deal, Sikorsky’s entire production line for the King Stallion helicopters will be in Connecticut. The company will make 200 of the heavy lift helicopters for the U.S. Navy.
The deal also needs the approval from the union representing Sikorsky’s employees.