Legislators receive glimpse into business world

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From left, state representatives David Labriola and Rosa Rebimbas, GarKenyon Aerospace and Defense President and CEO Steven Fournier, and Khoi Vu, vice president and general manager of the company, look on as Jonathan Fournier, director of operations and planning for GarKenyon, displays and explains one of the many parts the company manufacturers in their downtown Naugatuck facility during a recent tour of the facility. CONTRIBUTED
NAUGATUCK — State representatives Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) and David Labriola (R-131) recently toured two Naugatuck companies to see firsthand how the economy and the state’s business policies have impacted business.

“We all want to bring new business into the state, but at the same time we must not neglect the dedicated Connecticut businesses we currently have,” Rebimbas said in a release issued by a spokesman for the legislators. “Helping local companies is a key component for Connecticut to get back on a solid financial footing.”

The legislators visited Custom Bottle, and GarKenyon Aerospace and Defense.

Custom Bottle, located in the Naugatuck Industrial Park, is an extrusion blow-molder of plastic bottles and similar products used in a variety of industries such as personal care, pharmaceutical, food and industrial applications. The company produces tens of million of bottles annually.

GarKenyon, located in downtown Naugatuck, is a producer of engineered aircraft hydraulic and pneumatic components.

According to the release, the businesses are doing well despite the difficult economic climate. However, the overarching theme from both companies during the legislators visit was the high cost of doing business in the state hampers their ability to compete with companies located in lower-cost states.

“Seeing how these two companies remain at the forefront of their industry is inspiring,” Rebimbas said in a prepared release. “Connecticut has a long way to go to be a competitive state for business but these companies show it’s possible to succeed with dedication, sacrifice, and drive. Their commitment to their employees and Naugatuck is admirable.”

According to the release, the company representatives specifically cited the high cost of energy, and the continually changing policies at the state level make it difficult to recruit and retain highly skilled employees in a globally diverse marketplace.

“Surviving in a difficult economy is tough for many businesses, especially in Connecticut, but these two companies are thriving. After touring these companies it reaffirms my belief that we must do everything we can at the state level to ensure that small businesses across Connecticut have the tools to prosper,” Labriola said in the release.