Posted on September 26, 2022
This September, I had the pleasure of bringing Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer Paul Lavoie on a tour of manufacturers in the towns I serve, including Bevin Brothers Manufacturing and Dickinson Brand’s American Distilling here in East Hampton. While much of the state’s attention is focused on larger companies, most manufacturers in Connecticut are smaller business operating smaller shops.
We started our manufacturing tour at Bevin Brothers, where Production Supervisor Ben Favreau walked us through bell making and their growing gas cylinder business. We discussed challenges facing many producers in our state such as the increasing cost of materials, supply chain disruptions, and energy costs.
(L-R, Ben Favreau, Irene Haines, Paul Lavoie)
Up the road at American Distilling we were shown around by Dickinson Brands President Bryan Jackowitz. He explained the long history of witch hazel production in Connecticut and his family’s efforts over the last several decades to grow the business and create a thriving market for their products. We also talked about workforce development initiatives and various state incentive programs to assist manufacturers with capital improvements such as the Manufacturing Innovation Fund.
(L-R, Bryan Jackowitz, Irene Haines, Paul Lavoie)
These two iconic East Hampton businesses perfectly illustrate the deep-rooted history of manufacturing in our state and the incredible diversity of products we made in Connecticut. I have found listening to employers and learning firsthand about their interactions with state agencies beneficial when considering legislation at the Capitol.