CONNECTICUT – Yesterday, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) and Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) toured Ward Leonard in Thomaston and Michael’s Greenhouses in Cheshire to meet with industry leaders in defense manufacturing and agriculture. The members heard directly from business owners and staff regarding supply chain and labor challenges. 

“Connecticut’s Fifth District is home to resilient, innovative businesses that continue to push our state forward and develop our workforce,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “I was pleased to welcome Congressman Courtney, to meet with leaders in my district. We toured Ward Leonard and Michael’s Greenhouses – two businesses with deep ties to the region that collectively employ over 200 workers. The visits provided a wealth of information as my Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Subcommittee prepares for the next Farm Bill and Congressman Courtney and the Seapower Subcommittee consider Navy and Marine Corps acquisition programs. Now more than ever, we must make investments to train the next generation of workers. Ward Leonard and Michael’s Greenhouses are two great examples of businesses responding to labor shortages by adapting to innovative technologies and opening the door to new career paths for our workforce. Opportunities are available here in Connecticut and our businesses are leading the way.”

“Congresswoman Hayes’ invitation to visit Ward Leonard and Michael’s Greenhouse was very timely. This week, Groton’s Electric Boat Shipyard announced its historic and growing workload for 2022 and 2023 which will depend on a strong supply chain, and the Agriculture Committee will be ramping up its Farm Bill rewrite in 2022,” said Congressman Courtney. “As Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee I believe that Ward Leonard is a great example of the manufacturing excellence that can grow with EB. With Congresswoman Hayes’ position as a Subcommittee Chair on the Agriculture Committee, she can advance a farm bill agenda to support greenhouse growers such as Michael’s Greenhouse, an institution which has been in business for more than 50 years and is part of a thriving, growing, sector in Connecticut’s economy. Thank you to my friend Congresswoman Hayes for inviting me to visit with her constituents, particularly as Congress works to advance legislation to ensure workers have the skills they need and businesses can continue to thrive here.”

Ward Leonard, a Fairbanks Morse Defense Company, has supplied the U.S. Navy for more than 125 years and specializes in state-of-the-art motors, control components and systems integration solutions for surface, subsurface and land-based applications. Ward Leonard has approximately 150 employees based in Connecticut.

Michael’s Greenhouses is a wholesale grower. The company offers holiday products, hardy mums and florist quality poinsettias.  Michael’s Greenhouses, the largest greenhouse in Connecticut’s Fifth District, has been owned and operated by the Arisco family since 1969. In 2020, Michael’s Greenhouses received Paycheck Protection Program funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration.