The new owner of Warren Mill in Stafford, Jacob Harrison Long, has reopened the once-shuttered mill, hiring back 40 of the employees. The mill now specializes in woolen and worsted-woolen fabrics, and is the only mill of its kind in the country. Long is trying to create a “Made in America” luxury brand and compete with the best fabrics that are coming out of Italy, and he recently scored contracts with J. Crew and Bonobos.
Since its launch in 2014, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network’s Made in Connecticut initiative has been shining a light on the critical market sector of manufacturing in the state. Now, CPTV premieres its second full-length original documentary in conjunction with the initiative: Made in Connecticut 2, premiering Thursday, May 19 at 8 p.m., with an encore broadcast airing Monday, May 23 at 10 p.m. on CPTV. The program also airs Sunday, May 22 at 8 p.m. on CPTV Sports.
Hosted and produced by Emmy Award-winner Christina DeFranco (who also helmed the original Made in Connecticut documentary, which premiered in 2014), this latest addition to the Made in Connecticut canon takes viewers on tours of even more Connecticut-based businesses, and continues to explore the role of innovation on companies thriving throughout the state.
“In the first show, we covered companies specializing in jet aviation, biomedicine, biotechnology, food, and sports. These companies have had a long history in this state – they have had to reinvent themselves to stay in business,” said DeFranco. “In this coming documentary, we are featuring a more diverse range of companies in industries that we didn’t cover in the first go around – handcrafted spirits, textiles and fashion, music, building/construction, aviation testing, and heavy-duty industrial organizations.”
Made in Connecticut 2 also focuses on the connection between manufacturing and job creation, and what that means for the future workforce of Connecticut.
For example, DeFranco explained, “I spent an afternoon in a Precision Machining class at Platt Technical High School in Milford, where they are training students on high-tech computer numerical control machines. These kids are so proud of the specialized skill set that they are learning and will likely take advantage of the apprenticeship program where they go to work at a local company during the school year and actually get paid to learn on the job!”
In addition to Platt, DeFranco also explores the future workforce of Connecticut by visiting Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, and by looking at educational programs and opportunities at such companies as Stevens Manufacturing in Milford; the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington; and Protein Sciences in Meriden.
Learn about unique homegrown businesses and high-tech manufacturing facilities that call Connecticut home, and discover what they mean for the Connecticut community and economy, with Made in Connecticut 2! For a list of additional businesses featured in the program, see below.
- Ovation Guitars, based in New Hartford
- Bauer, Inc., based in Bristol
- Great Country Timber Frames, based in Ellington
- Gordon Corp., based in Southington
- Tuckerman & Co., based in New Haven
- American Woolen, based in Stafford Springs
- HABCO Industries, based in Glastonbury
- Pakayak, based in Higganum
- Hartford Flavor Co., based in Hartford
- Litchfield Distillery, based in Litchfield
Heirs to the man who founded Crystal Rock Water, the Baker brothers are now dabbling in top-shelf bourbon. Just a year old, their Litchfield-based distillery has created two types of bourbon and a gin. They are featured in 300 establishments across the state.
There are still a few things that are made the old-fashioned way. For example: Gordon Cellar Doors, which start as a piece of flattened steel and are bent, notched, and welded into a heavy-duty, two-piece door. There are only two companies in the country that still make these doors. The Gordon Corp., located in Southington, ships its doors all across the U.S.
The Skinner family is reinventing the age-old tradition of timber framing. They build post-and-beam barns, homes, and country clubs the old-fashioned way, using wooden joinery, not nails. With the help of the state, this Ellington-based company purchased a state-of-the art CNC (computer numerical control) machine that cuts all of the beams in their Ellington facility. When they arrive on the job site, the structure is framed in less than a day.