The southeastern part of Connecticut is employing at a faster rate than the rest of the state, according to the Department of Labor.
In July, the Norwich, New London and Westerly, Rhode Island, hired 1,200 people, making it the fastest growing labor market in the Connecticut when looking at the rate of jobs added in the last year.
Many hires are for Electric Boat (EB), which plans to take on 15,000 to 18,000 new people between now and 2030 to reach a peak employment of 18,000.
Dan Mullins, of Waterford, is one of those new hires who plans to start working at EB soon.
"I think it was great that (EB) just reached out to me. And now that I know I can build a career out there, I’m really excited about it," Mullins said.
Mullins is a 2017 graduate of Ella T. Grasso Technical High School in Groton. The computer-aided drafting and design student said EB extended job offers to all 13 in his class.
"It makes me really secure to know that they’ve hired so many people from Grasso before that have stayed with the company," Mullins said.
But many other companies in southeastern Connecticut are hiring, too.
Blake Smith, who lives in Westerly, recently accepted a position at Davis-Standard in the Pawcatuck section of Stonington.
"This is the highest paying job I’ve had in manufacturing to date. So, that’s really the hard part. Finding a good-paying manufacturing job," Smith said.
Davis-Standard hired around 25 new employees this year and plans to take on even more, said Director of Operations Mike Newhall.
"This is a strong growth period for us," Newhall said, since they acquired a business in Massachusetts.
But he knows the company is competing with EB for skilled workers.
Brining people in to work, can bring them into the community long-term as well.
"If I decide I really like this job, I’ll eventually just move (to Connecticut)," Smith said.
That will have an impact on the local economy, too, starting with housing.
Tony Sheridan, president and CEO of the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, said they’re creating a new program to help spouses of new hires, specifically Electric Boat, find jobs locally.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut