NW CT Economic Development News

CERC Celebrate CT Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 @ Bushnell in Hartford

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.

The award-winners were selected by the executive committee of the Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation (NWCTEDC), which represents the 21 municipalities in the Northwest Hills Council of Government (NHCOG), as well as the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. The NWCTEDC is a public private partnership working closely with the NHCOG and the Chamber to support and promote positive economic growth. Both were selected for their positive impact on the regional economy.

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

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 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 Arts Council & Fuel Cell Energy
Recognized at CERC Celebrate CT Event
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 @ Bushnell in Hartford
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 ( 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).

CERC Celebrate CT Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 @ Bushnell in Hartford

2014 NW CT Honorees
Five Points Gallery & NW CT Chamber Manufacturers' Coalition
Judy McElhone (Five Points Gallery Executive Director), Ed Cook (Five Points Gallery Vice President) and Stephen Todd (Five Points Gallery Board Member) accepted the award for Five Points Gallery. Sabrina Beck (VP Altek Company & Chair of the NW CT Manufacturers' Coalition) and JoAnn Ryan (President/CEO, NW CT Chamber of Commerce) accepted for the NW CT Chambers' Manufacturers' Coalition. Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone, Erin Wilson (Torrington Economic Development Director) and Doug Parker (President/Executive Director of the NW CT Economic Development Corporation) also attended the dinner and awards ceremony.

L-R: Stephen Todd, Ed Cook, Elinor Carbone, Sabrina Beck, Judy McElhone, JoAnn Ryan
~ photo by Doug Parker

Five Points Gallery
The Five Points Gallery - a non-profit contemporary art gallery that showcases high-caliber professional artists both locally and nationally - was created under the Torrington Arts & Culture Commission as a place-making effort in the historic downtown. The Gallery has grown under the leadership of Judy McElhone, who recently received the prestigious Anchor Award from the University of Hartford. Five Points has helped transform downtown Torrington into an arts and cultural destination within the Northwest corner and attracts visitors from across the country to experience quality art work, which has spurred economic development downtown.
Northwest Connecticut Manufacturers' Coalition
The mission of NW CT Chamber's Manufacturers' Coalition's is to build a sustainable partnership between education and the manufacturing industry. Through collaboration, they coordinate a unique monthly gathering of manufacturers, educators, business professionals, elected officials and students.

Successful events have included a Manufacturing Expo at Torrington Main Street Marketplace with over 2,000 guests in attendance; a middle school expo with 800 students; Manufacture Your Future event at Oliver Wolcott Technical School with over 700 students and parents; career panels at local elementary, middle, and high schools; and a bus tour of local manufacturers.

The Coalition supports Northwestern Connecticut Community College's new associate degree program in manufacturing through curriculum development and developed the pilot program in Connecticut for a database of career opportunities in manufacturing
Previous NW CT ~ CERC Celebrate CT Honorees
2013 ~ The Warner Theatre & Dymax Corporation
2012 ~ Alcoa Howmet & Torrington Downtown Partners, LLC
2011 ~ Becton, Dickinson & Company (BD) & NW CT Community College (NCCC)
2010 ~ Torrington Main Street Marketplace

2014 NW CT Chamber of Commerce
Celebration of Success
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The NW CT Chamber of Commerce honored the Connecticut Mutual Holding Company as the Business Leader; Brian Mattiello as the Community Leader; and the nursing & manufacturing programs at Northwestern CT Community College for their contributions to the region’s Quality of Life.

The Connecticut Mutual Holding Company is a consortium of three regional banks including Litchfield Bancorp, Northwest Community Bank and Collinsville Savings Society. They formed a partnership in 2001 that allows the three banks to provide larger commercial loans, while maintaining their individual business identities.

L-R: Gary Roman (President & CEO, Collinsville Savings Society); Stephen Reilly, (President & CEO, NW Community Bank); John Ursone (Past President & CEO, NW Community Bank); Thomas Villanova (President & CEO, Litchfield Bancorp); Christopher Pitt (Past President & CEO, NW Community Bank); and Mark Macomber (Past President & CEO, Litchfield Bancorp) ~ photo

Brian Mattiello is a former state representative and is currently a Vice President of Organizational Development at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital and Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Warner Theatre. Close friend Andrew Roraback of Litchfield presented the Community Leader award to Brian.

Andrew Roraback (left) presented the Community Leader Award to Brian Mattiello ~ photo

Northwestern CT Community College was recognized for their contributions to the Quality of Life in NW CT for their recently implemented nursing and manufacturing programs.

L-R: Dr. Barbara Douglass (President, NCCC); Leona LeJeune (NCCC Coordinator, Workforce Development); Kevin Canady (CT-MET Coordinator); Juan Morales (Pre-Manufacturing Certificate student) ~ photo

NW CT CEDS Approved by EDA
Press Release - April 22, 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

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.

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 municipalities in NW CT.

The next step will be to apply for official designation from the State of Connecticut and EDA as an Economic Development District (EDD). This will allow for requests for federal funding for major infrastructure or other projects in NW CT related to economic development and included in the NW CT CEDS.

To become an EDD, you must have an approved CEDS, so part of the process has been completed. The NW CT Economic Development Corporation, Northwest Hills Council of Governments and the NW CT Chamber of Commerce will continue to work closely together to support existing businesses and industries in NW CT; attract new businesses to NW CT; support the creation of employment opportunities; work with regional institutions to enhance the quality of the workforce; and implement the action plan of the CEDS.

Doug Parker
President/Executive Director
NW CT Economic Development Corporation
(860) 567-2204

Collective Impact References
NW CT EDC - January 14, 2014

Northwest Hills/Litchfield Initiatives:
Fit Together Litchfield County

Plan to End Homelessness in Litchfield County


Benchmark Collective Impact Initiatives
Memphis Economic Development

Cincinnati “Cradle to Career”      

Waterbury “Bridge to Success”

Franklin County “Communities That Care”

Collective Impact Framework & Process

NW CT Manufacturing Summit 2013
Friday, September 13, 2013 ~ Torrington, CT

video clips
Lew Chappel, Chairman of the NW CT Manufacturer's Coalition
and Operations Manager at BD in Canaan

manufacturing in CT

over-regulation, small business express program, aerospace industry

energy cost, energy sources, American made products

time frame & details for state regulatory relief

diversify of fuel supply

elevator speech for people who say, "I can't afford to live here"

NWCT Regional Planning Collaborative
August 2013
$600,000 Awarded to NWCT
Regional Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund
The State has awarded an additional $600,000 to the housing rehab loan fund that serves the Collaborative's eight member towns.

"This grant will be very helpful for many, many homeowners to make improvements to their homes for increased safety and efficiency," - First Selectman Curtis Rand.  

We want to thank the Town of Salisbury for their leadership and Larry Wagner & Associates, which administers the funding.

$520,000 Awarded to NWCT Village Main Streets  
Falls Village & Cornwall  
The Town of Canaan (Falls Village) has been awarded $450,000 from the State's Main Street Investment Fund to construct an ADA compliant, historically appropriate bluestone sidewalk running from one end of Main Street to the elementary school at the other end.  Funds will also be used to install curbing, landscaping, and street trees to help slow traffic, better define parking areas, and make Main Street more attractive.   
Main Street Falls Village
"This is terrific, transformative news for the Town of Canaan. This funding will encourage visitors and residents to stroll our historic Main Street, support our existing small local businesses and attract new businesses. We thank the Northwest Connecticut Regional Planning Collaborative for their assistance
in preparing our application and Governor Malloy for his recognition of our continued efforts to revitalize our village center." - First Selectman Patricia Allyn Mechare.

The Town of Cornwall has been awarded $70,000 to install sidewalks which will improve pedestrian access and safety in the busy scenic village center.  The installation of a sidewalk between the new senior housing and Cornwall General Store in Cornwall Bridge will provide access for seniors to
village center and also provide handicapped access to the adjacent visitor's center.

NWCT Regional Planning Collaborative
June 29, 2013
Ayer New Director of COG
A message from the Collaborative's Founders
"The NWCT Regional Planning Collaborative is delighted to have its director Jocelyn Ayer now also directing the Northwestern Council of Governments (NWCCOG).

Jocelyn brings her experience in planning, regulatory and grant writing, economic revitalization and affordable housing to the nine towns that comprise the organization: Cornwall, Canaan, Falls Village, Kent, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Washington and Warren.

Since the Collaborative's inception in 2007 it has had an on-going, supportive relationship with NWCCOG which has acted as its fiscal sponsor.

Jocelyn will continue to direct the activities of the Collaborative assisted by professional consultants on specific economic revitalization projects to benefit our towns. With the support of our member towns and our sponsors we are working to strengthen our local economies and to keep our village centers vital places."  - From co-founders Ruth Skovron, Tom McGowan, and Pat Mechare

"Like" today!
Help us support local businesses
The Collaborative is currently undertaking a number of initiatives: visitor brochure distribution, website marketing, Facebook posts, Secret Corner window stickers, and visitor information signage on our main roads to help new folks discover our eight scenic towns and visit us to support local businesses.

We need your help today!
We need to have 1,000 Facebook followers by August, right now we have 351! We plan to use Facebook to provide announcements of events coming up in the Secret Corner that will make people want to come eat, shop, stay & play here. We'll also have some fun with "name that place" photo contests.

Please go to the DiscoverNWCT Facebook page  today and "like" us. In addition, we would love it if you could take a minute to email or post a Facebook message to your friends, family, customers who might live outside of our eight town area and ask them to check out the website and "like" us too so they see all the reasons they should come visit!

Again, the purpose of all of these efforts are to support our local small businesses by helping new customers find them and experience our beautiful corner of the world, our Secret Corner.

Workshop brings resources to help
small businesses
Attendees learn about tax incentives and financing
The Collaborative hosted a workshop on May 14th for Boards of Selectmen, Boards of Finance, Town Economic Development Commissions, Chambers, business groups, and small business owners entitled " Help for Small Businesses in Your Town: A Workshop on Tax Incentives and Financing for Small Businesses".

Our guest speakers discussed the following programs:
Small Business Express provides quick access to capital from $10,000 to $300,000.
Job Expansion Tax Credit (JET) can qualify businesses for tax credits of $500/month for each new full time job created.
C-Pace provides affordable financing to owners of small and large businesses for energy upgrades.
For more information on these programs, click on the links above or contact us.

Not a recording, not a mailbox, instead a live person
When you call CT's Business Response Center 1-800-392-2122 you will be pleasantly to surprised to find you are immediately connected to helpful representative who will help you make contact with loan programs, technical support and licensing issues.
The hours are:
Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Survey of NWCT Affordable Housing
The NWCT Regional Housing Council has recently completed a survey which lists the affordable rental and homeownership housing options available to seniors and families in our towns. For a copy of the survey, contact Jocelyn.

Progress Report: NWCT Regional Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program
The NWCT Regional Housing Rehabilitation loan program which helps homeowners in the Collaborative's member towns make critical home repairs is actively working with 12 homeowners to assess their needs and bid out their projects. Six of these projects are currently under construction. We hope to be awarded additional funding for this critically needed program this summer/Fall.

Signs of Progress
Falls Village now has it's Village area signage installed to welcome visitors and direct them off of Rt. 7 into the village center.

Sign design was made possible by the Connecticut Main Street Center with funds from the State of Connecticut through the Community Investment Act. Sign construction was made possible with funding from the State's Small Town Economic Assistance Program.
We have distributed over 5,000 copies of our "GET LOST" brochure to local stores, inns, realtors, and Chambers, and to the state's five visitor centers which received over 261,639 visits in 2012.
Look for our "Secret Corner" sticker in a storefront window near you.

The Falls Village Inn was nominated for the Excellence in "Tourism Image" award at the Connecticut Conference on Tourism. Congrats Sue & Colin!
Our congratulations also goes to the Sharon Housing Authority and the Town of Sharon for breaking ground on creating 12 more units at Sharon Ridge, which was one of the state's first Incentive Housing Zones.

Tell your family & friends to discover us at

NWCT Regional Planning Collaborative  
Year in Review: What We Bring to You  
 Collaborative's 2012 Accomplishments
We launched the "Discover NWCT" "Secret Corner" website, brand, and brochure to support our local businesses with visitors.

We worked with our local economic development groups; assisting with the formation of new groups in Falls Village and Goshen.

We were awarded an additional $10,000 from Connecticut Main Street Center to continue working with local economic development and business groups on deploying the Secret Corner marketing tools now in place.

We installed the first STEAP funded visitor welcome and wayfinding signs in Cornwall. More signs are on their way this Spring.

We successfully facilitated the funding of a new Regional Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund which will allow income eligible homeowners in our member towns to make basic repairs to their homes like wiring, roof repairs and septic renovation

Collaborative Awarded $10,000
to deploy Secret Corner marketing tools
Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC), the downtown revitalization and economic development non-profit, awarded the NWCT Regional Planning Collaborative a $10,000 Preservation of Place grant for our Village Center Vitality Tourism Marketing Campaign.

We will use this funding to work with our local village center businesses and business groups to deploy the Secret Corner marketing tools. We will also be able to generate additional content for Secret Corner Facebook posts, e-blasts, and the website that will draw visitors to the NWCT village centers.

By September 2013 we plan to have:
- 100 Secret Corner Stickers displayed in local shop windows;
- 50 new links from local business websites to;
- Secret Corner displays in the Visitor Information signs in each village center;
- 5,000 Secret Corner brochures distributed; and
- 1,000 Facebook followers for the Secret Corner
- "Historic preservation and the revitalization of our Main

Streets create jobs, bring vacant buildings back on the tax rolls and add value and vitality to adjacent buildings and neighborhoods," said John Simone, CMSC President & CEO. "This year's winners are taking steps to implement these types of positive changes by proactively planning for the growth and improvement of their downtowns."

Since 2008, CMSC has awarded $288,030 through the Preservation of Place grant program to sixteen Connecticut communities, leveraging over $768,427 in local Main Street initiatives.  The program receives support from the State Historic Preservation Office with funds from the Community Investment Act.

$202,000 Grant Application Submitted
for Collaborative Shared Economic Development Services
On Christmas Eve, Jocelyn delivered our 58 page Regional Performance Incentive (RPI) program application for Collaborative Shared Economic Development Services to the post office.

The Towns of Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Norfolk, Salisbury and Sharon all elected to participate in this initiative.

If this application is successful, it will allow us to establish a shared professional Economic Development Coordinator, carry out targeted site analysis and marketing of critical vacant commercial sites, and
boost shared tourism marketing efforts. We hope to hear back about whether this proposal will be funded in late summer or early Fall 2013.

Tell your family & friends to discover us at

All of these adjectives and more may be applied to the latest addition to the arts in Torrington. Karri Chapman, a visual artist who is part of the ARTSPACE-Torrington staff, has gathered emerging artists together to present an amazing pop-up gallery at 5 Water Street.

Entitled "What We Call Balance," Torrington's first pop-up gallery is the newest initiative under Arts Culture Torrington.  The opening reception will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, January 11 and was planned to coincide with ARTSPACE-Torrington's newest show, Bob Califiore's one a kind C-prints in a show entitled, "Through The Looking Glass, Darkly".  The show is open to the public.  Pop-up hours will also coincide with ARTSPACE hours.

The pop-up show has been curated by Karri Chapman and Margaret Vaughan, two recent graduates of Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, and features the work of seven up and coming artists from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.  Artists include Catherine Johnson, Jeff Dietz, Joe Messineoi, Dan Roe, Margaret Vaughan, Kelly Schmidt, and Marie Allen. They have worked with mixed media, print-making, ceramics, painting, and photography.  Judith McElhone, Executive Director of ARTSPACE, explained that "these kids are bringing amazing energy and their show is GOOD, VERY GOOD!"

The gallery is located on the second floor of 5 Water Street, above the ARTSPACE gallery.  The space is being loaned for temporary use by Torrington Downtown Partners, LLC, but the rooms had to be cleaned, painted, and converted into gallery space by the artists. The pop-ups will continue at this location with shows scheduled to open in partnership with ARTSPACE as long as the space is available.

It should be noted that due to the success of the temporary initiative for ARTSPACE 2012, that entity has now registered as a non-profit organization and is now tenant of 33 Main Street and a member of the TDP family.  For more information please contact

Alcoa-Howmet and Torrington Downtown Partners
honored at Celebrate CT Award Ceremony!
Alcoa-Howmet and Torrington Downtown Partners, LLC were honored at the Celebrate CT! Awards Ceremony held on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at the Bushnell in Hartford and hosted by CERC (Connecticut Economic Resource Center). They represented Northwest CT as two companies having a significant positive impact on economic development in the NW CT region. NW CT includes the eleven towns in the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials (LHCEO) and the nine towns in the Northwest CT Council of Governments (NWCCOG).

The Alcoa Power and Propulsion machining facility in Winsted employs 185 people and is a global supplier of precision-machined turbine airfoils to jet engine builders and industrial gas turbine manufacturers. The participation of Alcoa workers and managers in ACTION (Alcoan's Coming Together in Our Neighborhoods) events and the philanthropy of the Alcoa Foundation combine to support NW CT communities and organizations. Touching many people in worthwhile organizations during 2012, Alcoa's Winsted employees participated in 16 different company ACTION events that benefitted 16 organizations, including their annual involvement in the Day of Caring. The business is a corporate sponsor of the Torrington Chapter of United Way.
L-R: Gary Koeppell (Alcoa, Sales Manager); Yvette Saxer-Perez (Alco, HR Manager); Dwain Snow (Alcoa, Operations Manager); JoAnn Ryan (President NW CT Chamber); Kellee Lynch (Alcoa, Environmental Health & Safety); Dave Jackson (Alcoa, Controller)

L-R: Catherine Smith (DECD Commissioner); Dwain Snow (Alcoa-Howmet Operation Manager); Bob Santy (CERC President)

Torrington Downtown Partners
Steven Roth, Steven Temkin and David Bender formed the Torrington Downtown Partners LLC to manage the redevelopment of multiple properties in downtown Torrington. They purchased 9 foreclosed downtown buildings in 2010 and have invested over 2 million dollars resulting in eight 2nd floor renovated residential units and leases with twelve new street level businesses. The Partners offered the community a stake in their partnership and over 175 people paid $100 to join. The Partners have generously contributed to most of the downtown events and partnered in the very successful Art Space initiative. They also offered two of their buildings for murals to be installed as part of the City Canvas public arts initiative.
L-R - Rose Ponte (Torrington Economic Development Director), Steve Roth (TDP), Steve Temkin (TDP), Sharon Waagner (TDP Office Manager)

L-R: Catherine Smith (DECD Commissioner), Steve Temkin (TDP), Steve Roth (TDP), Bob Santy (CERC President)

Regional Update - NW CT Economic Development Corporation
The NW CT Economic Development Corporation has been working with the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials, NW CT Council of Governments and the NW CT Chamber of Commerce to create a new and expanded CEDS for the twenty cities and towns in NW CT. Mark Waterhouse and Leslie Cosgrove of Garnet Consulting have served as the consultants/guides for this process which began in November 2011. The NW CT Regional Planning Collaborative has been working with eight smaller towns in the region to help create more vibrant village centers and to provide affordable workforce housing opportunities for younger residents. They recently launched a new web site ( to guide visitors. Workforce Development has taken center stage with NW CT Community College, the NW CT Chamber of Commerce, the NW Regional Workforce Investment Board, CT Department of Labor and a new NW CT Manufacturing Coalition (headed by Lew Chappel of BD) leading efforts to provide skilled workers for regional manufacturers. Lauren Smith (NW CT Chamber) has been working with regional educators, guidance counselors and business leaders to help connect the business world with local schools through School to Career Pathways. Torrington has had a lot of activity with the continuation of the highly successful Main Street Marketplace throughout the summer and the extensive revitalization of numerous storefronts in the downtown area by the Torrington Downtown Partners. A new children's museum on Main Street will add to the vibrancy of downtown Torrington complimenting the Warner Theatre's numerous performing arts events.

"These awards pay tribute to the hardworking people and successful programs and projects of 2012," said CERC President and CEO Robert Santy. "We at CERC are proud to partner with the regions to celebrate these admirable honorees, and we look forward to what 2013 will bring us."

About CERC
Based in Rocky Hill, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation and public-private partnership that provides objective research, marketing and economic development resources to support making Connecticut a more competitive business environment. For more information, visit and connect to CERC on FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@cercinc).