MacDermid to add 70-80 new jobs in Waterbury-what does this say about “high taxes” keeping jobs away?

MacDermid to add jobs   70-80 new positions at Waterbury headquarters 

WATERBURY — Chemical company MacDermid plans to add between 70 and 80 jobs to its headquarters on Freight Street.

MacDermid Chief Operating Office Frank J. Monteiro said Tuesday that the positions are part of a consolidation of research, office and administration jobs after recent purchases of other companies.

These purchases have helped MacDermid grow from a $750 million to a $1.9 billion company, involved in chemical processes for industrial, electronic, print and other applications, Monteiro said.

Mayor Neil M. O’Leary, present for the announcement, said he was initially worried when MacDermid was bought by Platform Specialty Products Co. in 2013. MacDermid is an important employer and a key civic contributor. At the time, Monteiro assured O’Leary that company leaders planned to expand in the city.

O’Leary said his administration has been working to help maintain and facilitate that interest. Tuesday’s announcement is a big validation of those efforts.

“It just emphasizes what we’ve been saying for the last four years, that the City of Waterbury is open for business,” O’Leary said.

MacDermid has already moved about 42 jobs, including executives and support staff, to its headquarters on Freight Street in the past year, for a total of about 200, Monteiro said. Freight Street has become MacDermid’s global headquarters, and the headquarters of its electronics division, MacDermid Enthone Electronics Solutions.

“There’s obvious overlap in some areas,” Monteiro said of the company’s recent acquisitions. “For lack of a better word we’ve stated synergy targets we’ve hoped to achieve to Wall Street through the combination of the businesses.”

MacDermid is planning to centralize much of its electronics research and development in Waterbury, developing processes to be used in distant manufacturing plants. That will mean the hire or transfer of about 80 additional employees to Waterbury between now and the first quarter of 2017, Monteiro said.

These will include chemists, engineers, administration and clerical staff, with salaries ranging from about $50,000 to $250,000 yearly, Monteiro said.

MacDermid has begun a $2.5 million to $3 million renovation and expansion of laboratory space at its Freight Street buildings. It’s also recently negotiated a five-year lease of an office building across Freight Street that is being vacated by energy utility Eversource. MacDermid plans to spend about $350,000 on renovations of those former CL&P offices.

O’Leary said he was working with MacDermid to locate expansion space in Waterbury when he learned of Eversource’s withdrawal. He reached out to Monteiro immediately, and helped connect the two companies.

The lease will allow MacDermid to move offices across the street, opening up additional space for labs.

“If you walk around this building, we are bursting at the seams,” Monteiro said of his Freight Street headquarters. “And that building across the street was a godsend, because we want to keep everyone together. We want to have that campus attitude.”

Monteiro grew up in the Town Plot neighborhood. For him, Waterbury is home. It also has much to offer newcomers, he said, including the Palace Theater, Mattatuck Museum, downtown University of Connecticut campus, downtown stores and restaurants. Monteiro also lauded the city’s location along two highways, with relatively short distances to Boston and New York.

O’Leary said MacDermid’s focus in Waterbury will help support local businesses, real estate and might mean internship and learning opportunities for local students. It also provides a key anchor for the city’s ongoing effort to redevelop the industrial area along Freight Street, he said.

“This is a great, great, win for the City of Waterbury,” O’Leary said.

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