Blumenthal To Lead Department Of Commerce Aerospace Trade Mission To France, Nine Connecticut Precision Manufacturers To Join

(Hartford, CT)-- U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced today he will join the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Connecticut District Export Council in leading an aerospace business development trade mission to Toulouse, France, considered the aerospace hub of Europe. The three-day mission will take place from February 18-20, and will connect nine Connecticut precision manufacturers to senior procurement officials at Airbus, Goodrich Aerostructures, Aircelle, Liebherr, and DGA Techniques Aéronautiques.

Participating Connecticut companies include AdChem Manufacturing Technologies, AeroCision, Alpha Q Inc., Capewell Components, Jonal Laboratories, Microtech, Pegasus Manufacturing and SPX Precision Components. Jointly, the nine companies employ over 6,000 people in Connecticut. For many but not all of the firms, the trip will be the first introduction to Airbus and their top tier suppliers. Most of the companies are precision component manufacturers, providing highly specialized technology vital to aerospace engineering.

“I am proud to join these nine manufacturers in showing the European aerospace market the ingenuity, quality and value that Connecticut precision manufacturers can provide. It is my hope that this visit will help these outstanding companies expand their work internationally and add jobs here in Connecticut,” Blumenthal said.

“This mission is an excellent opportunity for our Connecticut companies to have high level meetings with major customers like Airbus.  Senator Blumenthal’s presence on the mission conveys to the French companies that our Connecticut companies are first rate companies there to do business,” said Anne S. Evans, District Director for the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration.

Among the businesses joining the trip will be Pegasus Manufacturing of Middletown. Founded in 1989, Pegasus is a precision manufacturer that provides comprehensive design and fabrication services for over 70 customers worldwide, including aerospace and telecommunication industries. They employ approximately 125 people.

Pegasus is grateful to be participating. The trade mission is a powerful method for finding growth opportunities that individual companies would be unlikely to get on their own without years of expensively mining leads.  As a coordinated group led by Senator Blumenthal and using the experience and contacts of the Department of Commerce, the companies in the Connecticut contingency will be introduced to purchasing decision makers at several French companies, including Airbus, one of the largest Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in the world who annually purchases billions of dollars in subassemblies and components identical to what many Connecticut manufactures currently build for other OEMs. Given this opportunity, I am confident that Pegasus and the other great companies participating in the mission trip will present to these French companies that we can compete globally and are best in class in the precision manufacturing solutions that we offer. In addition, Airbus and the other participating French companies will be given the opportunity to tap into a very mature and robust Supply Chain that truly is the answer to the dynamic capabilities and qualified capacity that these and other international and domestic OEMs are searching for - all within the small geography that is Connecticut,” said Chris DiPentima, President of Pegasus Manufacturing.

The trip is part of the National Export Initiative, announced by President Barack Obama in January 2010 to double exports over five years. The cost of Blumenthal’s attendance is being sponsored by the non-profit Connecticut District Export Council.