ON THE JOB HUNT: Steel Success in Connecticut

The down economy continues to cause problems for Americans coast to coast, as initial unemployment claims jumped 13,000 this week to 462,000. However, one of the smallest states seems to be making some big strides. The Constitution State, Connecticut, has added 4,800 jobs since January, and 8,000 since December 2009.

Connecticut's manufacturing industry is currently up 600 jobs, and according to one steel company, the reason for this is because businesses have exhausted their supplies, and are finally ready to start producing new products.

Chris Ulbrich, COO of Ulbrich Stainless Steels and Special Metals in North Haven, Connecticut says that, "in 2009, our sales went down like everybody else, 20-30 percent. But we are coming out of it."

His company has a hand in just about every manufacturing industry, making metal for customers who eventually produce parts such as solar cells, medical instruments, auto gaskets, pen clips, and nuclear reactor parts. He recalls laying off 20 percent of his workforce during the recession, and implementing five weeks of company-wide furloughs.

But that was when things were bad, and now that they are getting better, he has brought back half of those laid off, and even managed to pay employee bonuses during the first half of 2010.

Ulbrich says his company has had the most help bouncing back from power generation equipment, as he supplies metals for oil, solar, and nuclear industries.

From his perspective, there is no double dip recession on the horizon, but he does expect his business to keep steady at this level for quite a while.

Click here to go to Ulbrich Stainless Steels and Special Metals website.