Malloy visits Wilton to tout ASML growth

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy visited ASML offices at 60 Danbury Road Feb. 8 to help tout the company’s $100-million expansion project that will add 500 engineering and manufacturing jobs over the next several years.

“It’s exciting to see the opportunity for 500 additional jobs being created in this marketplace by this great company, understanding the broad reach of this company and what it means to see this investment made in Connecticut and in this site and quite frankly, I think it speaks well of our efforts in advanced manufacturing,” Malloy told the gathering that included  First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice, state Rep. Gail Lavielle, state Sen. Toni Boucher, and other town officials.

Malloy said the ASML jobs will combine with others at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Pratt and Whitney and Electric Boat in Groton to account for new manufacturing jobs in the state.

“It's the most manufacturing growth we’ve had in 50 years,” Malloy said, glad to share the upbeat news about jobs.

Pointing to the large concentration of aerospace and defense manufacturers in the state, he said, “we are the third most-concentrated state for aerospace. If the president wants to have a military parade we will be well represented.”

ASML plans

Bill Amalfitano, ASML general manager, spoke immediately after Malloy and made it clear the company is in Wilton for the long term.

He explained that ASML in Wilton makes one-third of the company’s machine used by its customers in imaging their pattern on silicon wafers — the most critical step in the process.

“That’s really powerful when you think a lot of that technology is coming out of here in Wilton,” he said. Many fields are affected: communications, automotive, and medical to name a few.

Amalfitano then reviewed the company’s expansion plans.

This month the company is beginning renovations of its office space to “create a more up-to-date inspiring look to the campus to attract the talent you need today,” he said.

Next will come an expansion of 45,000 square feet of its main building on Danbury Road to accommodate manufacturing and more office space for new employees.

The third project is an expansion of the company’s clean room operation, “a very specialized addition” for the next generation of product now in development and expected to come out in four years. That space will feature 30-foot ceilings with room for cranes to move 30 tons worth of product.

“We’re making a commitment that when you build an infrastructure like this, you’re here to stay.”

The final piece is a garage that will accommodate 770 cars, an increase of 550 spaces.

All the projects will be completed within the next two years.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Amalfitano said, referring to the growth for the company and for the state.

The company now employs more than 1,200 in Wilton at 77 Danbury Road.

The press conference was conducted on the third floor of 60 Danbury Road, a sub-leased office space that was formerly the home of Sun Products, which moved to Stamford last year.

Grumman Road project

ASML’s main entrance is at the intersection of Route 7 and Grumman Hill Road, an area long troubled by motor vehicle accidents. It was to be improved through a $2.8 million Department of Transportation project. Last month, Malloy added this to his list of transportation projects on hold because of the state’s financial troubles.

When asked whether this expansion would change the fate of the project Malloy said it was up to the state legislature to come up with an answer to declining transportation funds.

State Rep. Gail Lavielle said it was her understanding that because the project will receive 80% of its budget from federal funds, and it is included in the state’s Transportation Improvement Plan, it cannot be modified in any significant way, including scheduling, without a vote by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

—Jeannette Ross contributed to this story