He! I think I could have told them this. Think I have. But coming from the state’s largest private employer it does have impact.
The Courant covered the United Technologies analysts meeting in New York yesterday and nothing here surprises me.
Connecticut’s biggest private employer is determined to do more of its work outside its home state and other “high-cost” locations, top executives said Friday at an investors’ conference in New York.
“Anyplace outside of Connecticut is low-cost,” United Technologies Corp.‘s chief financial officer, Gregory Hayes, told Wall Street investment analysts — paraphrasing previous remarks by another UTC executive, Jeff Pino, president of Sikorsky Aircraft.
“Even if work has to stay in the U.S., there are opportunities to reduce cost by moving out of those high-cost locations,” Hayes said.
Make no mistake this is a warning shot across Connecticut’s bow but it also sends a signal to other high cost states. I’ll admit there might be some posturing here but not a lot. I have covered these meetings as a business reporter, many, many times. What a CEO or CFO says in these meetings carries a lot of weight and securities laws leave little wiggle room. Analysts make recommendations and investors make choices based in part on what’s said. Words are chosen carefully and nothing is said that has not been carefully vetted. So you can bet UTC is letting the investment community know Connecticut laws, regulations, and costs are killing em and something has to be done.
But this is the line I would find most disturbing if I were a state official.
Chênevert suggested that UTC would not bear sole responsibility for making Connecticut a place where it would continue to operate.
“I think it’s a known fact … that Connecticut ranks almost dead last in competitiveness for manufacturing,” he said. “And at some point, whatever the state can do to be helpful, maybe work with large companies like ours, is going to ensure that you have the optimal outcome for Connecticut.”
Allow me to translate. Hey Connecticut … look in the mirror. My thoughts: quick fixes in the form of special, one time tax breaks for manufacturing won’t do anymore. The state needs to reexamine its tax structure, and mandates for all corporations in the state. And stop looking at them like an “all you can eat buffet” every time the overspending irresponsible legislature needs cash.