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What is the mandate of Connecticut’s new manufacturing chief?

First it was an ex-Goldman Sachs principal. A former aerospace executive was added to the mix late last month.

Both those individuals now vow to make material changes to Connecticut’s vitally important manufacturing sector. A recent Hartford Courant article describes that commercial sphere as “doing well, but stunted as it struggles to find workers.”

David Lehman and Colin Cooper recently underscored at a manufacturing conference that they will endorse and aggressively push new measures aimed at sparking a dynamic manufacturing evolution in the state. Lehman left Goldman Sachs recently to steer Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development. Cooper, the ex-aerospace manager, was appointed by Gov. Ned Lamont in late October as the state’s chief manufacturing officer.

Cooper’s position is envisioned as having real clout. Lehman told about 150 business managers in Trumbull last week that Cooper’s vast and singular manufacturing experience will help the new chief “navigate state government to make sure that we’re getting what we need as an industry.”

Reportedly, the sector needs a lot, with many critics stressing that inexperienced bureaucrats have had material input on key issues for too long.

Lehman told his audience that, “We’re tired of government thinking they know what we need as it relates to the workforce or other assistance.”

What the state’s manufacturing cog apparently needs the most is a materially expanded employee pool comprising workers freshly trained to competently perform tasks that demand technology-linked acumen. A special training focus will spotlight knowledge required to significantly advance state businesses in Connecticut’s already viable defense, aviation and aerospace industries.

Manufacturing is manifestly important in Connecticut. Reportedly, the state is home to more than 4,000 manufacturing companies.

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