NuFern, the East Granby company first approved for the Bradley Development Zone, held a grand opening for its expanded facility Friday.
The event was attended by local and state officials as well as members of the Connecticut Airport Authority, which approved NuFern’s inclusion in the development zone.
The company designs and manufactures specialty optical fibers, fiber lasers and amplifiers, sells them globally and expanded its facility from 65,000 to 95,000 square feet. The expansion will also mean an additional 54 jobs, officials said.
“Everyone is ready to take that proverbial next step with the new tools we put in place,” Martin Seifert, NuFern president, said.
Seifert said the company must compete on a national and international level. NuFern has to work hard to stay ahead of its competitors.
“We must work smarter, change faster and stay ahead technologically,” he said.
The airport authority’s efforts will help bring new air carriers to the area, which will expand economic growth, Seifert said.
James M. Hayden, East Granby first selectman and chairman of the Bradley Development League, congratulated NuFern and said the company’s expansion means good, high paying jobs for the region.
“And nothing short of wonderful things,” Hayden said.
The Bradley Airport Development Zone offers tax incentives to manufacturers and other specified businesses which develop or acquire property in the zone and create jobs. A business qualifies for tax incentives associated with the program if it acquires an idle facility or constructs, substantially renovates, or expands one and uses the facility for specified uses, officials said.
Eligible uses include manufacturing, research and development related to manufacturing and work to significantly service, overhaul or rebuild machinery and equipment for industrial uses. Incentives are offered to eligible businesses located in E. Granby, Windsor, Windsor Locks and Suffield.
Karen Jarmoc, a member of the CAA board of directors, said the new quasi-state agency has been given the flexibility to help with development such as NuFern’s expansion.
“This is the kind of work the Connecticut Airport Authority is poised to do,” Jarmoc said.
Catherine Smith, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, said NuFern has learned to adapt. It looked to the field of lasers when the fiber optics became not as profitable, Smith said.
“We can see nothing but very promising results for this company,” Smith said.