NW CT Economic Development Corporation
333 Kennedy Drive, Torrington, CT 06790
2017 Board of Director Meetings
@ NW CT Chamber of Commerce
333 Kennedy Drive, Torrington
Monday, January 23, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
Monday, May 15, 2017
No July meeting
Monday, September 18, 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017
2017 Executive Committee Meetings
@ NW CT Chamber of Commerce
333 Kennedy Drive, Torrington
Monday, February 27, 2017
Monday, April 17, 2017
No June meeting
Monday, August 21, 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017
No December Meeting
Questions? Please contact Jocelyn Ayer
NW CT Economic Development Summitt 2017
NW CT Regional Plan of Conservation & Development
Survey will close on January 30, 2017.
The Northwest Hills Council of Governments
(NHCOG) is in the process of developing a new Regional Plan of Conservation & Development for Northwest CT
. For an overview of the process, proposed timeline, and details on how we will solicit input from all 21 NHCOG towns, please click here
The Northwest Hills Council of Governments
(NHCOG) includes: Barkhamsted, Burlington, Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Warren, Washington, and Winchester/Winsted. QUESTIONS? FEEDBACK? Contact Jocelyn Ayer: email@example.com
New! Entrepreneurial Center of Northwest CT
We are the NEWLY ESTABLISHED Entrepreneurial Center of Northwest CT, and greatly appreciate your generosity in taking TWO minutes to complete our 3-Question survey. Click here to take the survey.
We are partnering with many local organizations such as Northwestern Connecticut Community College
, the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce
, NWCT & Harwinton SCORE, Friends of Main Street, local Municipalities and more. Please look for more communications from us in the future as our goal is to support, connect and help your business thrive! Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to complete this short survey!
Arethusa Farm and Dairy & KidsPlay Museum
honored at state-wide event
Arethusa Farm and Dairy of Litchfield was honored as a business having a significant economic impact in Northwest Connecticut by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center at the Bushnell Theatre in Hartford on Nov. 30.
KidsPlay Museum, located on Main Street in Torrington, was also honored as a non-profit organization for its positive regional economic impact. The awards were presented by Bart Kollen, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, and Shelly Saczynski, CERC board chairman.
Arethusa Farm and Dairy co-owner Anthony Yurgaitis accepted the Celebrate CT! award. Eileen Marriott and Ken Merz, both of Litchfield, accepted the award for KidsPlay Museum. Previous honorees from the area include the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council and FuelCell Energy in2015; Five Points Gallery and the Northwest Connecticut Manufacturer’s Coalition in 2014; the Warner Theatre and Dymax Corporation in2013; Alcoa-Howmet and Torrington Downtown Partners in 2012; Becton, Dickinson and Company and Northwestern Connecticut Community College in 2011; and Torrington Main Street MarketPlace.
Arethusa Farm & Dairy Award
L-R: Shelly Saczynski, Anthony Yurgaitis, Bart Kollen
L-R: JoAnn Ryan, Anthony Yurgaitis, Leo Paul, Jr. and Elinor Carbone
Attendees from the area included JoAnn Ryan, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce; Doug Parker, president and chairman of the NWCTEDC; Litchfield First Selectman Leo Paul Jr.; Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone; Erin Wilson, Torrington economic development director; and KidsPlay board members Karen Zeiner, Val Vitalo, Mary Guilfoile and Louis Tomaino.
KidsPlay Museum Award
L-R: Shelly Saczynski, Eileen Marriott, Ken Merz, Bart Kollen
L-R: Louis Tomaino, Karen Zeiner, Elinor Carbone, Ken Merz,
Eileen Marriott, Val Vitalo, Mary Guilfoile and JoAnn Ryan
L-R: Ken Merz, Eileen Marriott, JoAnn Ryan,
Anthony Yurgaitis, Leo Paul, Jr. and Elinor Carbone
Since 2010, CERC has hosted an annual event called Celebrate CT! to honor economic development successes throughout the state. The celebration features a review of the recent accomplishments from across the state's regions, awards recognizing top people, organizations and initiatives, and networking opportunities for participants to connect to others who have a similar goal of making Connecticut a more competitive business environment. More than 200 attendees typically attend, including municipal and state economic development professionals, government officials, and corporate business leaders. More information about CERC can be found at www.cerc.com
Celebrate CT! program descriptions
Arethusa Farms has transformed Bantam over the last six years. In 2010, Arethusa Dairy opened an ice cream parlor in the village, in 2013 it opened an award winning restaurant next door and this year it opened a bakery and cafe across the street. Arethusa now employs over 100 people. It is also committed to sourcing local in-state ingredients for its ice cream, restaurant, and cafe, which supports other farmers in the region. Arethusa's al tavolo restaurant was voted one of the 100 best restaurants in America in 2015 by Open Table. Arethusa also opened an ice cream parlor in New Haven this year.
KidsPlay Children's Museum attracts over 2,800 people a month to downtown Torrington. It opened in 2012 and offered 2,500 square feet of hands on activities for children under the age of 10. This year it expanded to 4,500 square feet of space on Torrington's Main Street and has expanded its programs and exhibits to include a new literacy tree house. It has plans to more than double its exhibit space by adding a neighboring building. The visitors to KidPlay also support local restaurants and stores. KidsPlay keeps Torrington young at its heart.
2016 Northwest CT Economic Review
Connecticut’s northwest corner has made creating a regional tourism industry a work of art. This region knows that culture means business and business means jobs. Looking for a great education, a job in advanced manufacturing or place to visit with historic downtowns and main streets bustling with arts, culture, and farm to table restaurants? Come to northwest Connecticut!
Five Points Gallery of Torrington, for instance, is a growing hub for creative culture and downtown revitalization. This past year, the non-profit added incubator space for budding artists above its contemporary gallery. Add to that the Gallery’s monthly exhibits and artists’ talks; the live performances at The Warner Theatre; a new 188- foot mural created by Danielle Mailer; The Crystal Room’s dinner and mystery theater; Performance HUB’s open mic nights; and Rossi Studios where Karen Rossi creates metal sculptures and hosts numerous workshops, and you’ll agree that downtown Torrington is a definitive arts and entertainment destination.
The region is also home to the American Mural Project (AMP) in Winsted, the largest indoor collaborative piece of art in the world — a tribute to working Americans. Once construction is complete, two former mill buildings will house the five-story-high mural and a visitors’ center, and be a place for lectures, education and workshops. Across from the AMP is Whiting Mills, a virtual and expanding hive of artists and artisans who jointly host an open house the 3rd Sunday of each month. Whiting Mills has been touted by Yankee Magazine among the Editors’ Choice Best of New England 2016.
Northwest Connecticut is home to hundreds more creative industries and offerings, including Infinity Hall in Norfolk, the Litchfield Jazz Fest, Music Mountain and many more destinations that enhance the lives of residents and attract visitors on an annual basis.
The region’s assets also include, Northwestern Connecticut Community College which was ranked Best Community College in Connecticut by WalletHub.com and an active manufacturers’ coalition which reported this year that three of the region’s major manufacturers - Becton Dickenson (health care products), Wittmann Battenfeld (advanced plastics), and Fuel Cell - have doubled their square footage of manufacturing space and are constantly hiring. This region’s assets make it a great place to live, work and visit.
NW CT EDC BOD Meeting Minutes
2013 NW CT CEDS Objective/Initiatives
KidsPlay Children's Museum
to Receive 2016 Celebrate CT! Award
KidsPlay Children’s Museum was selected by the Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation to receive the 2016 CELEBRATE CT! award as an organization that has "positively impacted NW CT's economy."
KidsPlay was founded in 2012 by a group of community leaders that recognized the absence in Northwest Connecticut of a space for young children to experience hands-on learning through play. They also envisioned how the addition of such an important resource could positively impact the revitalization efforts of downtown Torrington.
Now in its fifth year of operation, KidsPlay Children’s Museum is rapidly becoming an anchor institution attracting families from across Northwest Connecticut and beyond. In the past year, KidsPlay has welcomed over 31,000 visitors. KidsPlay also employs 3 full-time and over 10 part-time staff. KidsPlay also has over 45 dedicated volunteers.
Doug Parker, Northwest CT Economic Development Corporation President states, "KidsPlay has helped to transform downtown Torrington into a high energy destination for young families with children. The various types of hands-on experiences for young children encourage exploration and experimentation, you might say STEM skills for kids. What a great addition to Torrington and Northwest CT!"
Ken Merz, KidsPlay Board President and Co-Founder said, “The Museum draws families to Main Street during the important daytime hours and these families support our local businesses.”
Elinor Carbone, Torrington’s Mayor said, "What a great honor and recognition for our KidsPlay Children's Museum. KidsPlay has not only provided a fun and educational center for our residents and visitors, it has had a significant impact on the economy of the entire region. In the few short years it has been operating, we have seen its growth and popularity take off. The museum's patronage extends beyond the city of Torrington into our neighboring communities and across the state. KidsPlay Children's Museum has become a cornerstone to our downtown, bringing families to the heart of our city to enjoy all that we have to offer on Main Street. The staff, board of directors and museum volunteers are greatly deserving of this award and I congratulate them and wish them continued success."
Eileen Marriott, KidsPlay’s Museum Director said, “We are honored that the Northwest CT Economic Development Corporation has selected KidsPlay Children’s Museum for this award. Play is an essential part of childhood that prepares children to reach their potential. Our community has diverse cultural and economic cross-section of families that benefit from the Museum’s offerings.”
The Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc
. (CERC) honors the top economic development projects, programs and leaders in the state at the annual CELEBRATE CT! event on the evening of Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at The Bushnell in Hartford. The honorees were selected by each region for their contribution to the state's economy -- such as consistent or growing employment levels, role in changing the character of its community or civic engagement, strong public/private collaboration to encourage new investment, or leadership resulting in growth or improvements.
KidsPlay Children’s Museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. KidsPlay Children’s Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity and is accepting donations to support daily operations and Museum expansion. For more information about KidsPlay, please visit www.kidsplaymuseum.org.
KidsPlay Children’s Museum
61 Main Street,Torrington, CT 06790
KidsPlay Children’s Museum, Inc. is a 501(C) (3) not-for-profit organization. Contributions made to the museum are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.
NW CT EDC Recognized as EDD
July 7, 2016
The Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation (NWCTEDC) was officially recognized as an Economic Development District (EDD) by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA, Department of Commerce) on July 7, 2016.
This follows a long process of first developing a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the twenty-one municipalities in Northwest Connecticut. The NW CT CEDS
was completed in April 2013 and approved by the EDA on April 16, 2014 (scroll down to see CEDS approval letter from EDA).
After the CEDS was approved, the NWCTEDC with strong support from the Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG) and the NW CT Chamber of Commerce, applied for official recognition as an Economic Development District (EDD) in April of 2015.
As an officially recognized EDD, the NWCTEDC will now be able to support member communities applying for federal grants, especially for larger infrastructure projects. Federal economic development grant requests are enhanced by an approved CEDS and EDD designation.
Governor Malloy supported and endorsed the NWCTEDC application for EDD status and also approved the NW CT CEDS. This aligns the CEDS with both the state and federal governments. It also provides a regional road map for local municipalities when updating their Plans of Conservation & Development (required by state law every ten years).
This was definitely a team effort. The NWCTEDC worked very closely with the Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG) and the NW CT Chamber of Commerce. The NWCTEDC is a public-private partnership (501c4). It is a completely volunteer organization with a nearly 40 member Board of Directors representing both the public and private sectors.
Mission: The Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation is organized in order to develop a vehicle for the public and private sectors to channel their resources for the purpose of achieving job creation, strengthening the tax base and improving the economic well being of the region.
The NWCTEDC serves the following communities in NW CT: Barkhamsted, Burlington, Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Warren, Washington and Winchester.
I'd especially like to thank Rick Lynn and Jocelyn Ayer (NHCOG) and JoAnn Ryan (NW CT Chamber) for their unbelievable support throughout this very long process. Representatives Esty and Larson were also strong supporters and helped to work with federal officials. Garnet Consulting Services, Inc. based in Barkhamsted served as the consultants for the creation of the CEDS.
President/Chairman Board of Directors
Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation
333 Kennedy Drive, Torrington, CT 06790
New guide by NW CT SCORE
Info about Farmers' Markets & Food Hubs
NW CT Arts Council & Fuel Cell Energy
Recognized at CERC Celebrate CT Event
December 2, 2015
The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council and FuelCell Energy were recognized at the 6th annual CERC (CT Economic Resource Center) Celebrate CT Awards Ceremony held at Bushnell in Hartford on Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Governor Malloy and DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith joined CERC President Bob Santy to honor regional leaders in economic and community development from eleven regions throughout Connecticut.
L-R: Neil Aiello, FuelCell Energy Vice President; Amy Wynn, NW CT Arts Council Executive Director; Frank Wolak, FCE VP; Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone; Mike Lisowski, FCE VP and Rich Pawlaczyk, FCE VP
Both the NW CT Arts Council and FuelCell Energy have had a significant positive impact on the economy of NW CT. Amy Wynn, Executive Director, accepted the award on behalf of the NW CT Arts Council. The NW CT Arts Council was founded in 2003 as a regional organization to support arts and cultural organizations in 25 municipalities in NW CT. Amy has served as the Executive Director since the organization's inception and continues as the guiding force in connecting artists, cultural organizations and the culture-loving public to insure a thriving cultural sector.
Frank Wolak, Vice President for Government Relations, accepted the award on behalf of FuelCell Energy. FuelCell Energy (FCE) is in the process of expanding their manufacturing facility in Torrington. A new 100,000 square foot addition will enhance their manufacturing capabilities to meet increasing world-wide demand for their ultra-clean, efficient and reliable fuel cells. FCE (fce.com) currently employs 550 associates in their Danbury and Torrington facilities and is in the process of increasing their workforce at the Torrington manufacturing facility.
Also attending the awards ceremony were Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone, NW CT Chamber of Commerce President JoAnn Ryan, Torrington's Economic Development Director Erin Wilson, and Doug Parker, President and Executive Director of the NW CT Economic Development Corporation.
Previous NW CT CERC Celebrate CT award recipients include Torrington Main Street Marketplace (2010), the Warner Theatre and Becton Dickinson in North Canaan (2011), Alcoa Howmet and the Torrington Downtown Partners (2012), Northwestern CT Community College and Dymax Corporation (2013), and Five Points Gallery and NW CT Manufacturer's Coalition (2014).
NW CT CultureMax Awards
Presented by the NW CT Arts Council
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
@ Morrison Gallery, Kent
L-R: Ed Cannata, Torrington Arts & Culture Commission (volunteer award); Justin Ball, TrArts Sharon Playhouse (cultural organization); John Marshall, Rhythmic Integation Center & Terra Coda (artist category); Vita Muir, Litchfield Pertforming Arts & Litchfield Jazz Festival (lifetime achievement award); Dan Hincks, Infinity Hall (culture-loving business category); and Peter Vermilyea, Region 1 & Western CSU history teacher, "Hidden History of Litchfield Hills" author (heritage professional category).
The Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation is organized in order to develop a vehicle for the public and private sectors to channel their resources for the purpose of achieving job creation, strengthening the tax base and improving the economic well being of the region.
- Support existing businesses and industries in NW Connecticut
- Attract new businesses and industries to NW Connecticut
- Create employment opportunities throughout NW Connecticut
- Enhance quality of the workforce
- Implement Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Action Agenda
The Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation works in close cooperation with the NW CT Chamber of Commerce and the NW Hills Council of Governments.
2013 Northwest Connecticut
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
The purpose of the NW CT CEDS is to create a thorough and detailed economic development regional plan guiding the twenty (20) municipalities in the LHCEO and NWCCOG for the next five years. The NW CT CEDS complies with existing federal, state and local economic development plans. The 2013 NW CT Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy is a collaborative effort of the NW CT Economic Development Corporation (NWCTEDC), the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials (LHCEO), the NW CT Council of Governments (NWCCOG) and the NW CT Chamber of Commerce.
The 2013 NW CT CEDS final report includes a data section (pages 20-102, pdf pages 28-110) detailing present conditions in NW CT and a specific Action Agenda (pages 106-141, pdf pages114-149) to guide improvements in economic conditions in NW CT over the next five years.
2013 NW CT CEDS Final Report
2013 NW CT CEDS Exhibits
2013 NW CT CEDS Appendices
(meeting agendas & minutes)
NW CT CEDS Data Profile
2013 NW CT CEDS Objective/Initiatives
Develop and maintain a regional marketing plan and network to provide year-round markets for local growers and producers.
Inventory, assess and improve the infrastructure needs for local growers and producers including the creation of greenhouses to allow for an extended growing season.
Analyze existing and available commercial/industrial sites for potential reuse or potential deconstruction and assure that available properties are listed on the CERC SiteFinder Inventory and other appropriate locations.
Develop and maintain a regional Culture/Tourism/Film marketing plan for Northwestern Connecticut.
Encourage and promote education and training by trade schools, Northwestern Connecticut Community College (NCCC) and UConn-Torrington.
Maintain and expand current programs engaged in workforce training at area high schools, trade schools, NCCC and UConn-Torrington.
Evaluate and document workforce needs of regional employers.
This Initiative Supports Goal 4 - Education and Workforce, Goal 6 - Manufacturing, and Goal 7 - Small Businesses, Services and Retail Sector
Support Fit Together: the Northwest CT Healthy Eating & Active Living Initiative to improve the health of the region's workforce and reduce employer health care costs. This Initiative Supports Goal 4 - Education and Workforce
Develop a regional infrastructure plan for Northwest Connecticut that capitalizes on prior transportation and other infrastructure planning carried out by NHCOG. This Initiative Supports Goal 5 - Infrastructure
Develop a long-range plan for supporting and expanding manufacturing in Northwest Connecticut. This Initiative Supports Goal 6 - Manufacturing
Adopt the "Complete Street" concept throughout the region to integrate infrastructure plans and improvements to allow for pedestrian and bicycle-friendly town, city and village centers that support small businesses of all types. This Initiative Supports Goal 5 - Infrastructure, Goal 7 - Small Businesses, Services and Retail sector, and Goal 8 - Cross-cutting Downtown and Neighborhood Vitality
Doug Parker, President
NW CT Economic Development Corporation
NW CT CEDS Approved by EDA
April 26, 2014
The Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation, Northwest Hills Council of Governments and the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce are all very pleased to announce the approval of the Northwest Connecticut Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (U.S. Dept. of Commerce).
The Northwest Connecticut Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) was approved by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 by Willie C. Taylor, Philadelphia Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration.
Director Taylor states in the approval letter, “We are pleased to inform you that EDA’s review of your CEDS document and process align with the regulatory and programmatic requirements and your CEDS has been accepted by the EDA. The priorities and focuses outlined within your CEDS document will help form the foundation of how EDA reviews applications for Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs from your region. We greatly appreciate the work of the Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation Board and CEDS Committee to develop this innovative, regionally-driven economic development strategy. EDA looks forward to continuing to work with you to help support the goals and priorities outlined in your recently submitted CEDS.”
This validates the efforts of the Northwest CT Economic Development Corporation (NWCTEDC) which led the efforts to create the NW CT CEDS document. The NW CT Economic Development Corporation worked closely with the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials and Northwest Connecticut Council of Governments, now merged as the Northwest Hills Council of Governments; and the NW CT Chamber of Commerce in creating this detailed five year economic development plan to serve the twenty towns and cities in the region. The complete NW CT CEDS is available at www.nwctedc.com.
The NWCTEDC and NHCOG will now seek official designation for NW CT as an Economic Development District (EDD) from EDA. This will allow for requests for federal funding for major infrastructure projects in NW CT related to economic development and included in the NW CT CEDS.
The NW CT CEDS process began on May 7, 2010 when the NW CT EDC Board of Directors approved procedures to complete the NW CT CEDS presented by Doug Parker and Rick Lynn. A CEDS Steering Committee was created to oversee the process and a broad-based CEDS Committee was formed representing both the public and private sectors. The CEDS Steering Committee included Allan Borghesi, Rick Lynn, Dan McGuinness, Patricia Mechare, Doug Parker, Leo Paul, Jr., JoAnn Ryan, and Don Stein. A Planning Grant was approved by EDA in August 2011 providing funding to hire Mark Waterhouse and Leslie Cosgrove of Garnet Consulting Services, Inc. to guide the NW CT CEDS process.
When the process began, there were two regional planning organizations (RPO) serving NW CT, the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials (LHCEO) and the NW CT Council of Governments (NWCCOG). The two merged in January 2014 forming the Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG). The Northwest Hills Council of Governments includes: Barkhamsted, Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Warren, Washington, and Winchester/Winsted. Burilington joined in 2014.
The NW CT CEDS (Planning/Strategy) Committee included: Tim Abbott, Bill Baxter, Bill Burgess, Susie Clayton, David Dean, Celeste Echlin, Lou Helt, Dan Jerram, Michael Keilty, Rick Lynn, Dale Martin, Dan McGuinness, Patricia Mechare, John Morici, Judy Palmer, Doug Parker, Leo Paul, Jr., Colin Pease, Rose Ponte, Patrick Power, JoAnn Ryan, Dwain Snow, Don Stein, Tim Sullivan, Amy Wynn and Steve Zarrella.
Over 70 people participated in several focus group sessions conducted in 2012 as part of the CEDS process. As a result of this process, ‘Task Teams’ have been established by NWCTEDC to address the action agenda as outlined in the CEDS. The task teams are Agriculture; Arts, Culture, Tourism & Film; Commercial Properties; Healthcare; Infrastructure; Manufacturing; Small Businesses; and Workforce Development.
A previous CEDS was created from 2002-2004 for 10 municipalities, including most of the former Litchfield Hills Council of Governments. That CEDS expired in 2009 and it was decided to create a new CEDS to serve all twenty-one municipalities in NW CT.
The NW CT EDC is designated by the IRS
as a 501(c) (04) tax exempt organization
October 1, 2004