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To prepare New London to become an offshore wind hub, Connecticut will fund a business incubator

New London Mayor Michael Passero
Courtesy of the City of New London
New London Mayor Michael Passero

New London will be the new home of a business incubator that will help to create a training program for entrepreneurs and promote regional job growth. The State Bond Commission is expected to approve $1.3 million to fund the project for the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.

The Thames River Innovation Center is expected to open in October to be the new headquarters for the chamber. Mayor Michael Passero said the city is a great choice for the facility since it is close to some of the region’s largest employers.

“It's the appropriate place to have this kind of innovation center, right at the commercial, economic hub of southeastern Connecticut. It’s just going to enhance the prestige and the economic driver that the city is,” Passero said.

The chamber’s goals for the center are to support the creation of 100 new jobs a year and launch more than 100 new businesses in the next decade.

Lamont said the Thames River Innovation Center will provide workers with a resource to build their skills sets and become matched with prospective employers.

“It's about the wind. It's about the environment. It's about a new economy going forward. It's about hundreds of amazing jobs,” Lamont said during a tour Tuesday of the Connecticut Port Authority’s redevelopment of New London State Pier to become a hub for the offshore wind industry. The business incubator would be located nearby at 92 Eugene O’Neill Drive.

Officials said it is within an enterprise zone and federal opportunity zone that will be easily accessible by public transportation, ample parking, and “close to historically underserved neighborhoods.”

The State Bond Commission will vote on the item at its next meeting on Thursday, March 31. Lamont serves as the chairman of the commission.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.