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Posts Tagged ‘Whelen Engineering Co.’

The NH Advantage Explained by Our Neighbors

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

What’s the “New Hampshire advantage?” There are many interpretations put forth by economists, elected officials and economic development practitioners, but it’s interesting to hear what our neighbors think.

With that in mind, check out this recent op-ed by Connecticut State Senator Rob Kane:

“It’s a 25 percent pay hike”
By State Sen. ROB KANE

Whelen Engineering Co. is the only major U.S. manufacturer of emergency warning equipment that still makes its products entirely in the United States, with manufacturing operations in New Hampshire and Connecticut.

Why do I bring this up?

Because Whelen’s CEO has been steadily putting more focus into New Hampshire and less on Connecticut.


He said New Hampshire has certain qualities that Connecticut doesn’t have.

And what are those?

Low taxes, little regulation, a legislature “that works for a living and understands what it takes to be competitive,” and a governor who is “a professional manufacturer and he’ll do anything for it.”

I use this example because this is a business owner whose operation is split between two states. Whelen’s CEO has a unique vantage point, and he said something that should make us all sit up and take note.

“When I bring an employee from Connecticut to New Hampshire,” he said, “it’s a 25 percent pay hike.”

Think about that statement for a minute. It shows that Connecticut is losing the battle to stay competitive with our fellow northeastern states. We tax too much. We spend too much. We overburden our businesses. While our legislature was busy passing record tax hikes, raising government spending and imposing burdensome mandates on businesses, we fell behind our competition.

So can we turn it around?

It will take some time and it will require some new faces at the State Capitol, but I think that eventually, we can.

This week, I met with several of my fellow Republican legislators at the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Office. We had one topic of discussion:

What can we do as policy makers to spur this stalled economy and create an environment that fosters job growth?

Our focus is getting sharper as we approach Oct. 26. That’s when our special “Jobs Session” of the Connecticut General Assembly will take place. You won’t see major tax cuts take place, but at least we are talking about jobs and job creation now.

Make no mistake. We are losing jobs because of the four points made by Whelen’s CEO. The question is, will pro-business Democrats join Republicans to stop the bleeding?

As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments and suggestions at rob.kane@cga.ct.gov

State Sen. Rob Kane, www.senatorkane.com, represents the 32nd Senatorial district, which includes the communities of Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Seymour, Southbury, Thomaston, Roxbury, Watertown and Woodbury.