Lamont hears women’s concerns at new Darien coworking center

Governor Ned Lamont talks outside of HAYVN in Darien on Tuesday, June 11. — Sandra Diamond Fox photo

Improving the lives of working women was the overall theme of Gov. Ned Lamont’s visit to HAYVN on Tuesday, June 11.

HAYVN is a coworking center for women that opened last month on the Boston Post Road in Darien. Many of the women at HAYVN are in transition to the workforce after having children. Others are restarting their careers.

Lamont toured the facility and chatted with about 30 female professionals, answering quality of life questions that were on their minds.

Lamont said HAYVN is an “incubator for female-led startups, which is a big piece of our future, which is small business.”

Topics that the women brought up included quality affordable child care, reducing the cost of health care for single parents, and access to capital for women entrepreneurs.

Lamont said there are a lot of female-led funds and a lot more female venture capitalists than there have ever been before.

“When Annie was starting, she was the only woman at the table,” he said, referring to his wife. “That said, this is a market that we’ve got to grow and expand.”

He added that, “What I’ve got to do is figure out how to make sure Connecticut is a place that folks your age really want to stay — be it more affordable day care, be it easier transportation.”

United Technologies Corporation

Before entering the HAYVN office, Lamont addressed current corporate news including United Technologies Corporation relocating its headquarters to the Boston area.

In light of that, he said employment should not be significantly affected.

“While the departure would remove another corporate headquarters from Connecticut, the merger is not expected to significantly affect employment here, where the company has 19,000 employees and manufacturing facilities in East Hartford and Middletown,” he said. “Roughly 100 jobs will move from Connecticut to the new headquarters.”

“It’s just worth noting that what was really important to me were the thousands of good-paying jobs here in the state of Connecticut,” he added.

Pratt & Whitney

Lamont said that not only is Pratt & Whitney going to stay in Connecticut, “they are going to grow and expand here — probably a thousand new hires over the next year.” he said.

“That’s a really big deal and really important for the future of the state because we are a leader in aerospace and we are going to continue to be there,” he added.

Otis

He also said Otis will be staying in the state.

“Otis is going to be its own standalone Fortune 500 Company and right now all indications are they’re staying in Connecticut,” Lamont said, adding that this “is a big win for the state.”

Lamont added that “there is a lot of back and forth in the corporate world right now and I think at the end of the day, Connecticut’s going to be stronger for it.”

Transportation

On the topic of transportation, Lamont said he’s sitting down with legislative leaders next week to get a schedule for the special session.

“I’ve often made the case that we’ve got to figure out how you pay for our transportation system because that’s part of what’s going to be on the bonding agenda,” he said. “If we jam 750 million dollars into our general obligation bonds for transportation, that forces out schools and affordable housing, so we got to figure out how we’re going to pay for transportation, and that’s key to our bonding agenda.”