REXBUSINESS : CLUSTERS
Manufacturing has long been a critical component of the state and regional economy. Like most of the Northeast and older industrialized portions of the country, the South Central Connecticut region saw a steady decline in employment in the manufacturing sector in the second half of the century, including the last five years. Despite the decline in manufacturing overall, advanced manufacturing is still a strong part of the region’s economy. Unlike manufacturers of earlier generations, these companies are generally small companies that produce highly specialized products. They employ highly skilled workers and utilize advanced technology to manufacture high value-added, precision products. Although this cluster is identified as a supercluster and consists of primary metal; fabricated metal product; machinery; computer and electronic product; electrical equipment, appliance and component; and transportation manufacturing, advanced manufacturing as a whole can be seen throughout almost all of the identified clusters, including defense, biomedical/life sciences, and advanced materials, three of the top clusters by employment in the region.
The manufacturing supercluster employs almost 20,000 people in the region; however, the sector employs almost 25,000 and the state almost 170,000. Although the manufacturing cluster doesn’t employ the most people in the region, its economic impact is disproportionate to its size. For example, the retail sector’s, which employs roughly the same number of employs as manufacturing, average annual wage is almost three times less than manufacturing. In addition, the manufacturing supercluster has the highest basic multiplier than any other cluster in the region, exporting significantly more product than any other cluster in the region. For advanced manufacturing resources, click here.
This is a new cluster of focus for the region, separating itself from advanced manufacturing due to the importance and strength of its industry sectors. While the name “Advanced Materials” is general and could pertain to wide variety of products, this cluster is comprised of a number of distinct areas of strength in the region’s economy: Metal Working and Fabrication; Pharmaceutical and Medical; Basic Chemical; Electronic Component; Rubber and Plastics. With nearly 20,000 regional employees working in the Advanced Materials industry, this cluster is one of the strongest in the area. Like with any geographically concentrated industry cluster, there are unique local assets and innovation capacities which make this region a good fit for Advanced Materials. It is thus important for the region to support and build upon these capacities.
Employees in the advanced materials space receive the third highest annual wage of any identified cluster in the region, just behind business and financial services and defense and security. Although employment in advanced materials decreased slightly over the past five years, when compared to the nation, it’s concentration (location quotient) increased by 2.0% over this same time period, making the advanced materials cluster one of the “star” clusters in the region (as can be seen in the cluster analysis in part II). In addition to the two main economic drivers, healthcare and education, and the manufacturing cluster, advanced materials has been one of the strongest performing clusters in the region over the last five years and through the recessionary period.
SARGENT MANUFACTURING CO.
An Assa Abloy Group Co.
100 Sargent Drive
New Haven, CT 06536
P 800 727 5477www.sargentlock.com
358 Hall Avenue
Wallingford, CT 06492
P 203 265 8900www.amphenol.com
478 Wheeler’s Farms Road
Milford, CT 06461
P 203 301 3400www.neopostinc.com
THERMO SPAS INC.
155 East Street
Wallingford, CT 06492
P 800 876 0158www.thermospas.com