(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is appointing Paul Lavoie to serve as Connecticut’s chief manufacturing officer, a position that is responsible for coordinating state and private-sector efforts on behalf of the administration to promote growth in the state’s manufacturing sector.
In taking the position, Lavoie will succeed Colin Cooper, who became the state’s first chief manufacturing officer when the position was created in 2019. Cooper recently announced plans to retire.
“Manufacturing is a key sector of our economy, and having this position of chief manufacturing officer in my administration is important to letting these companies know that they have a seat at the table in my administration,” Governor Lamont said. “This sector has a critical role when it comes to jobs, exports, innovation, and productivity. Over the last couple of years, thousands of manufacturing jobs have been added in Connecticut, and I am determined to keep this momentum going. Connecticut has the best educated, best trained, and most productive workforces in the world, and our future success depends on our ability to connect these workers to the businesses that need to fill jobs in highly skilled, good-paying positions. Paul is a friendly face in Connecticut’s manufacturing community, and I confident that he will be able to hit the ground running.”
Lavoie has extensive experience in the manufacturing sector and currently serves as general manager of Carey Manufacturing in Cromwell, where he has worked since 2017. The company is a manufacturer of catches, latches, and handles, as well as electronic hardware. In this position, Lavoie oversees the sales, marketing, production, quality, engineering, financial, and human resource teams. In recent years, Carey Manufacturing has gained attention for successfully reshoring manufacturing jobs to Connecticut from China.
Prior to that position, from 2013 to 2017 Lavoie was vice president of sales, marketing, and human resources at ETTER Engineering Company, a third-generation, family-owned engineering and manufacturing business based in Bristol. In addition to managing sales, marketing, and human resources, he led the development and implementation of strategic, sales, and marketing plans that helped the firm grow 234% the over three years and earn recognition on the INC 500|5000 list in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
He has also served on several manufacturing-related boards and currently is a member of Connecticut’s Industry 4.0 Working Group and the Governor’s Workforce Council.
Lavoie will begin serving in the position effective Monday, February 7. It is based within the Department of Economic and Community Development.
“I am honored to be appointed by Governor Lamont to serve as Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer,” Lavoie said. “I look forward to continuing to build on the foundation created by Colin and working with all manufacturing stakeholders to grow the manufacturing sector. We will continue to engage, educate and enable our manufacturers to take advantage of the market opportunities, grow their businesses and solidify Connecticut’s reputation as the Silicon Valley of Advanced Manufacturing.”
Cooper’s list of accomplishments includes meeting with hundreds of manufacturers, coordinating the manufacturing sector’s response to the pandemic, strengthening collaboration across state agencies, and providing strategic direction for the Manufacturing Innovation Fund, which supports a wide range of programs to help Connecticut manufacturers innovate and strengthen their workforce. Most recently, Governor Lamont and Cooper announced a series of new initiatives to boost the long-term competitiveness Connecticut’s manufacturing sector.
“Serving the state and working with our manufacturers has been an honor for me,” Cooper said. “I’ve been most impressed with the passion and engagement of our manufacturing stakeholders throughout the state and I’m optimistic that Paul will continue to advance the communication, cooperation, and collaboration that has developed to the benefit of our companies and world-class workforce. I’d also like to thank Governor Lamont, Commissioner Lehman, the state legislature, and many others across state agencies for their support of Connecticut manufacturing. It is heartening to see the growing recognition of the vital role manufacturing plays in the Connecticut economy and the opportunities it provides our citizens.”
“I want to thank Colin for his leadership and tireless dedication on behalf of our manufacturing community,” Governor Lamont said. “His strategic vision has resulted in a number of initiatives and investments that will further strengthen this critical industry sector for years to come.”
Cooper’s final day of state service will be February 25.
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