Nufern expansion tribute to lure of Bradley zone


Nufern CEO Martin Seifert
From Hartford Business –

Q: Nufern had its grand opening for its expansion on Friday. What does Nufern do and what drove its expansion?

A: Nufern is a failed telecom startup now 13 years old. We make specialty optical fiber, fiber lasers for industrial and defense, and fiber optical gyroscope coils for the U.S. government. All four of our businesses are expanding rapidly so we are continuing to invest in high tech jobs in Connecticut.

Q: Competition was fierce with four states and Canada trying to attract you to make the move. What made you choose to stay in Connecticut? What was appealing about this as a place to do business?

A: Connecticut is an appealing place to work because we have a diverse, educated, and competent workforce; we have great access to institutions of learning within only an hour or two drive; and we have a wealthy state with a great quality of life including many services and benefits for our employees.

Q: What types of incentives did the state offer you to stay here? What was the final dollar figure and how much employment and annual payroll, approximately, will be created due to your expansion?

A: We have benefitted from the Bradley Airport Development Zone tax rebate, in fact we were the first to qualify, and we have already exceeded our anticipated hiring of 50 more employees. We are now at 151 and expect at least 20 more to come on by the end of the year.

Q: What factors may have made you consider leaving Connecticut? What possibly could have swayed you to relocate elsewhere?

A: We acquired another company that was situated in another state, also a wealthy state with many incentives and closer proximity to our Department of Defense customers. One of the key considerations in our business today is the infrastructure: metro rail access for employee commutes; affordable broadband access to facilitate work from anywhere; and, of course, air transportation because our customers, suppliers, and competitors are all global companies.

Q: How much of a factor did the Bradley Airport Development Zone factor into your decision to stay in Connecticut? Without the zone, how likely is it that you stay in the state?

A: The enhancement of the Bradley Airport Development Zone and the implementation of the CT Airport Authority, the funding of more UConn professorships, the plans for light rail, all significantly swayed us because it showed us that the state was taking proactive steps to encourage business and people to stay. Only governments can build the infrastructure necessary for business to thrive.

Q: What's next for Nufern? Where does your future growth come from?

A: Nufern is executing on a number of large and wonderful growth opportunities in each of its four core businesses today. We will be fully occupied and probably into our next physical expansion before we need to look for other "big" opportunities. It is fully our expectation that in executing our current work we will find and develop our new opportunities.

Connecticut Airport Authority Approves Fourth Business in Bradley Development Zone
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