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State of Connecticut - Business & Employment Changes Announced in the News Media
  Business & Employment Changes Announced in the News Media - State of Connecticut Last Updated: February 28, 2019
This publication lists start-ups, expansions, staff reductions, and layoffs reported by the media, both current and future. The report provides company name, the number of workers involved, date of the action, the principal product or service of the company, a brief synopsis of the action, and the source and date of the media article. February 2019 Business & Employment Changes Announced in the News Media PDF
Startups and Expansions in February 2019

New zoning laws pave way for East Hartford brewery

A new brewery is being planned on Main Street in East Hartford just weeks after local officials agreed to zoning changes that allow the budding industry in commercial and industrial areas. Earlier this month, a group of five partners hailing from Simsbury and Granby were granted a special permit from the town's Planning and Zoning Commission to operate a 1,600-square-foot brewery and taproom in former warehousing space at 1277-1287 Main St. The venue will be dubbed as Paddle Creek Beer Co. when it opens this fall, said partner and head brewer Peter Klorer.

P&Z: Hawks Ridge apartments likely to be approved

A proposed 89-unit apartment complex on Beard Sawmill Road received unanimous consensus approval Feb. 13 after Planning and Zoning Commission members appeared satisfied the additional traffic was manageable. The Ridge at Sawmill would represent the final phase of the Hawks Ridge project by developer A.J. Grasso on a 41-acre property previously owned by the Wells family and zoned for light industrial use. As part of a Planned Development District, single-family homes and townhouses have been built off Long Hill Cross Road and the Brightview assisted living facility is nearing completion on Beard Sawmill Road.

McDonald's signs downtown Stamford office lease

McDonald's Corp. signed a lease in the past quarter for downtown offices that would include a training center, according to a new report by the Stamford Office of Economic Development. The fast-food giant is taking about 14,600 square feet at 695 E. Main St., a building topped by a clock tower. It joins professional-services firm Deloitte, which has operated regional offices there since late 2014, taking about 120,000 square feet.

Pizza chain opens first state location in Newington

Valentine's Day marked history in Newington with the opening of the first Connecticut location of Artichoke Basille's Pizza. The new business had a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday and members of the Newington Chamber of Commerce as well as other Artichoke franchise officials took part in the event. Artichoke Basille's Pizza is located at 2391 Berlin Turnpike and Matthew Rusconi is the Connecticut franchisee for the food establishment. The restaurant also has a full bar and has a partnership with Alvarium Beer of New Britain.

Premier Urgent Care Facility Opens to Serve Oxford Area

Premier Urgent Care, 278 Oxford Rd., is now seeing patients for a wide range of medical issues. Cliff Wagner, M.D., MBA, FACP, who leads the practice, told Voices that the services offered at the urgent care facility are a natural extension of what he and other emergency room doctors began with Connecticut Emergency Medicine Specialists, which provides physicians and physician assistants to the emergency departments.

DoNo developer Salvatore debuts New Haven hotel

The developer selected to redevelop Hartford's Downtown North (DoNo) quadrant surrounding Dunkin' Donuts Park has opened a new 108-room luxury hotel in New Haven. The sprawling hotel is named after Alice Blake, the first woman graduate of Yale School of Law. The hotel features an exercise room, lounge, bar and an upscale restaurant known as Hamilton Park. It also has space for conference and business meetings and will soon debut a 24-hour market. The Blake is one of several lodging projects underway or being pitched in New Haven, including a Chicago firm's ongoing project to turn the storied Duncan Hotel into a Yale University-themed boutique hotel called "Graduate New Haven."

Liquid Chocolate New Cafe Offering at Salt of the Earth

A new cafe called Liquid Chocolate has opened to enhance the experience at Salt of the Earth Healing Arts Sanctuary, 346 Main St. South. The sanctuary and the Salt of the Earth Spa, 787 Main St. South, offer a range of holistic therapies meant to promote balance. Owner Sue Martovich told Voices, "Whatever the healing need, we're helping almost anyone who desires to feel better."

Tech repair shop opens

The technology repair shop uBreakiFix opened a fourth Connecticut location at 1761 Post Road E. in Westport. Owner Daniel Lew has existing uBreakiFix stores in Norwalk and Darien, with plans to open two more. The store offers repair services for cracked screens, water damage, software issues and other technical problems, with uBreakiFix having nearly 350 franchised locations nationally, with 700 more in development.

Layoffs and Staff Reductions in February 2019

120-year-old Berlin retailer A.S. Labieniec to close

A.S. Labieniec Inc., a farm-and-garden retail fixture in Berlin for more 120 years, will shut its doors by the end of this week. Co-owners Joyce and John Connery purchased the agricultural- and pet-products retailer in June 2015 and 10 months later, relocated it back to its original location inside the red barn at 945 Farmington Ave., in the town's Kensington section. The store's last day is Thursday, Feb. 28.

AT&T to relocate Meriden offices; 89 job cuts slated

Global telecommunications giant AT&T announced plans Friday to close three call centers in Meriden, resulting in the loss of 89 local jobs. AT&T will begin transitioning call center operations, each located at 84 Deerfield Lane, over the coming months, said David Weidlich, president of CWA Local 1298.

Payless ShoeSource to shutter all of its remaining US stores

Payless ShoeSource is shuttering all of its 2,100 remaining stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, joining a list of iconic names like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton that have closed down in the last year. The debt-burdened chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2017, closing hundreds of stores as part of its reorganization.

Defunct, iconic Monroe hardware store to host auction

The owner of Stepney Hardware, 590 Main St., broke hearts last month when he announced the iconic store would close after more than 60 years in business. But fans have one last chance to own a piece of the store - or at least get a good price on some tools. At 10 a.m. Saturday, the store will host a full auction of everything in stock, including the store's extensive assortment of antique tools.

Harper's to shutter after eight decades

For almost eight decades, Harper's in Fairfield has been a destination for women's fashion in Fairfield County. Now its run is over. Owner Jerry Gold is preparing to close the store for good on Tuesday. he store was once Harper's Furs on the corner of Cannon and Broad streets in downtown Bridgeport, when the founders first opened the store 79 years ago. Gold purchased and eventually moved the retailer to 1871 Black Rock Turnpike.

Torrington's Kelley Transit Company closes

The sudden closure of the Kelley Transit Co. over the weekend could mean a decrease in services for residents in the northwest corner - those who rely on a van service to get to the grocery store, medical appointments or classes at Northwest Connecticut Community College. An express bus route provided by the transit company for round trip rides to Waterbury may also be affected.

Portofino restaurant is closed

Portofino restaurant is closing on Monday, Feb. 11. The Italian pizzeria, bar and restaurant has been a fixture at 10 Center Street in Wilton Center since 1988. Owner Tony Ramadani said the space will be remodeled and will re-open in about six weeks as the Red Rooster Pub.

The Brownstone Closing

The Brownstone, 142 Main St. second floor, a boutique shop featuring handbags and jewelry, will close in mid-March, according to owner Victoria Schallert. Opened originally in Norwalk 15 years ago, the business relocated to Westport's 36 Main St. in 2007 and to its current location in 2016. Schallert, 65, who led the harmonious management team with Mariana Hurtado and Celeste Puglisi, said she and her husband, 68, are retiring now and plan to relocate to their house in California.

Bob's Store in Enfield Closing

The Bob's store at Enfield Commons in Enfield will be closing.  The shopping center on Hazard Avenue is under development and the Bob's store will be replaced by Homesense and Ulta, according to Paramount Realty Services.  It's not clear when the store will close.

Charlotte Russe, With 8 CT Stores, Files For Bankruptcy

Another major retailer has filed for bankruptcy protection. This time it's Charlotte Russe, a women's clothing company seen in malls across the country. The company, which has eight locations in Connecticut, announced in a release Monday it voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.

In Department News

State of Connecticut Career Posters - Job Journeys

For those seeking more information before making a career choice, the Department's "Job Journeys" posters can serve as a valuable resource. "We want every jobseeker, student, career counselor, teacher, education and training administrator and workforce professional in the state to know about our series of Job Journey posters," notes State Labor Commissioner Scott D. Jackson. "These colorful, at-a-glance illustrations of the jobs found in each of Connecticut's 16 career clusters include pay and education information, related jobs,and how they measure up as an "in-demand' career."

Connecticut Career Paths: 2017

This publication is created to provide you the information about the skills and training to prepare yourself for a successful career in one of over 340 occupations in the state. For each of the occupations included in the Career Table, information is provided on number employed, job openings, education and training requirements and the earning potential for your chosen field.

Manufacturing and other Middle skills Jobs

A recent publication by the Connecticut Department of Labor's Office of Research titled, Connecticut's Manufacturing and Other Middle-skills Jobs, was created to inform people seeking work or considering a career change of various employment opportunities. Connecticut areas and industries with the most job postings and related jobs to each occupation are also included in the publication.

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