By Brenda Maguire
BRISTOL — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., wore a smile on his face Wednesday as he toured a manufacturing company and greeted workers, but he didn’t mince words when speaking of China’s affect on Connecticut business.
He stopped every so often during his tour of Classic Coil Co. on Century Drive to ask employees what they were working on and they readily explained their task.
While at the plant, Blumenthal took time to discuss with company CEO Rudolf Zeidler some of the legislative work being done in Congress to bolster U.S. manufacturing.
Blumenthal is pushing legislation that would require the U.S. government to impose countermeasures against Chinese companies. He explained that China has a history of undervaluing its currency against the American dollar and other countries’ currencies to keep its prices artificially low.
“You’re not the only one who is disadvantaged,” Blumenthal told Zeidler. “I’ve been to a lot of manufacturers in the state who are affected.”
There are about 166,000 people employed in manufacturing in the state.
Classic Coil manufactures coils for the medical, aerospace, military and industrial sectors. It sells 2 million coils a year.
“These products are used to keep our troops safe in combat and to help people survive life-threatening surgery,” Blumenthal said. “Watching people here do welding and assembly and the quality control is very inspiring.”
Currently in Connecticut there are 100 aerospace manufacturers, 266 medical manufacturers and 41 industrial manufacturers, according to the state Department of Labor.
“It was truly an honor to have Sen. Blumenthal here and it’s my hope that we’ve inspired him to do even more for small businesses in Connecticut,” Zeidler said.
Classic Coil is a 30-year-old company that moved to Bristol from Southington about 12 years old. The privately held company has been growing over the last three years with an increase in employees from about 60 to 100.