DECD Commissioner Smith Highlights Connecticut Economic Development Strategy


At a recent Economic Development Strategy Summit, hosted by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), Commissioner Catherine Smith outlined the economic development strategy for Connecticut.
In the past two years, Connecticut has made tremendous progress toward improving its business environment.  State government is leaner, more efficient and accessible.  New innovative and flexible economic development programs are assisting companies of all sizes in every industry sector with the vision of Connecticut ranking among the top quartile states in economic growth.

But we are not done.  DECD, whose mission it is to develop and implement strategies to increase the state’s competitiveness, works to expand economic opportunities for all.

Under the leadership of Commissioner Catherine Smith, there is a clear shift in DECD’s economic development strategy — marked by a commitment to make the state more business and consumer  friendly and to focus on Connecticut’s existing strengths.  The top economic development priorities include:

  • nurture and drive innovation
  • build on our established strengths and emerging sectors
  • grow and enrich the talented labor pool
  • promote and market the state’s many business advantages within Connecticut and beyond its borders
  • build a brand for the state which drives economic growth
  • place a renewed emphasis on all aspects of customer service in order to make the state more business friendly and attractive for investment

The key industry sectors we will continue to build upon include insurance & financial services, healthcare/life sciences, advanced manufacturing and tourism. Emerging industries which offer much opportunity include digital media, green technology and information technology innovation.

DECD’s economic development efforts aim to maximize economic opportunities through the creation and retention of jobs; workforce development; business expansion, recruitment and retention; and export assistance and foreign investment.  In short, DECD is ensuring that economic opportunities exist and creating them when they do not.
As examples of these efforts, the Small Business Express program has assisted approximately 500 companies resulting in over 6,300 jobs retained and created, and the First Five program has leveraged over $1.3 billion in private investment.

For more information on these programs and to view Commissioner Smith’s full Economic Development Presentation, please go to

CEDAS President's Message, Jan. 2013
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