Interview with Paul Lavoie on Connecticut's Manufacturing

Paul Lavoie is the State of Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer.
Driving digital transformation & sustainability through the State of Connecticut, Chief Manufacturing Officer, Paul Lavoie, tells us more

Paul Lavoie is the State of Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer. He was appointed by Governor Ned Lamont in February 2022 and works in the Department of Economic and Community Development for the State of Connecticut. 

“My job is to support and grow the manufacturing sector and to develop and implement programmes to build resiliency and growth in the sector,” he says. “Connecticut is the only state with this role. I am the author of CT’s Manufacturing Strategic Plan and the Office of Manufacturing is responsible for coordinating the efforts on the execution of the plan.”

 

What led you to this industry?

“I came to the manufacturing industry as a provider of services to the industry. I owned a business consulting firm and marketing agency, and manufacturers were a customer segment of my businesses. I fell in love with the industry and worked at two manufacturing firms in senior leadership roles before my appointment.”

 

Tell us about manufacturing in Connecticut. 

“Manufacturing is CT’s largest industry sector, accounting for 13.2% of the state’s GDP.  We are #1 in aircraft engine and aeroplane parts manufacturing, #2 in shipbuilding and #2 in defence spending on a per capita basis, in the USA. It is a major economic driver of CT’s economy.”

 

How are you driving digital transformation and efficiency within the manufacturing sector?

“Working with the Department of Defense and the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, we are working on a federal grant programme to accelerate the digital transformation in the defence manufacturing industry. We have just been awarded a Department of Commerce/EDA grant to drive digital transformation through the commercial industry based as a regional tech hub. Driving efficiency and digital transformation is a key element of CT’s Manufacturing Strategic Plan.”

 

How are you improving the sustainability of your manufacturers?

“We are making major progress in growing our manufacturing base and developing sustainability in our ecosystem. Through our Manufacturing Innovation Fund, we are investing US$15m a year in programmes designed to support and grow the industry. The programmes are focused on the key elements of our strategic plan – workforce, supply chain resiliency and innovation, all leading to industry growth.”

 

What do the next 12 months hold for you and the state of Connecticut?

“2024 will be the year that manufacturing moves to the #1 sector and driver of CT’s economy, making CT a manufacturing state. We are making significant progress in growing and developing our manufacturing workforce, we are assessing risk in the supply chain and developing programs to strengthen our industry and we are driving innovation in digital transformation, additive manufacturing and industrial automation. We continue to attract new businesses and talent to our state and our strategic plan serves as our north star as we remain laser focused on our key growth initiatives.”


 

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