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The Lee Company Plans $50 Million Expansion At Its Westbrook, Connecticut, Operations Campus

Area Development Online News Desk (06/04/2014)
The Lee Company plans to expand its business operations center in Westbrook, Connecticut, as part of an expansion project that will keep 862 current employees in The Constitution State and create up to 200 new positions.

As part of its $50 million expansion plan, Lee Company plans to add several buildings to its main campus in Westbrook, including 18,000 square feet for sales and 79,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

“We are proud to be announcing this cooperative agreement between the State of Connecticut and the Lee Company. This is a win for the Company, a win for our employees and a win for Connecticut,” said William W. Lee, President/CEO of The Lee Company. “We have been investing in Connecticut for 66 years now and look ahead to many more decades of growth here. Our employees continue to drive us forward and produce the world’s highest quality hydraulic components. Our ongoing investment in facilities and equipment will allow them to meet our worldwide customers’ needs.”

“After its founding following the end of World War II, Lee Company quickly became a catalyst for advancing and securing Connecticut’s position as a leader in aerospace manufacturing, contributing to both the Space Race and the Jet Age,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “Lee Company has now grown into one of the largest high-tech manufacturers in the world and a leader in its field, all while serving its community and helping to build the state’s supply base. That’s why I’m proud to announce our support for this project to ensure Lee Company and its family will be able to continue building on its 66-year legacy for many more generations to come.”

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development will provide a $10 million loan, at an interest rate of 2 percent interest over 10 years, to be used to purchase new machinery and equipment. The company may be eligible for up to $10 million in tax credits through the state’s Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment TaxCredit Program. In addition, Connecticut Innovations will also provide a sale and use tax exemption of up to $950,000 for capital improvements.

With every 50 new employees hired, Lee Company will be eligible for loan forgiveness of $2.5 million. Employees must be hired and retained for a consecutive 12-month period within five years before receiving any forgiveness. The total of 1,062 full-time jobs may be located at any of the company’s Connecticut locations.

“Today’s agreement with The Lee Company shows that they are committed to Connecticut, but it is also a signal that manufacturing in this state is as strong as ever,” said DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith. “Today’s manufacturing is high-tech, precise, and on the cutting-edge, and Lee Company leaders know there’s no better place to find the right business and educational resources, and the talented workforce than here in Connecticut.”

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