One of the lessons learned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic was just how important supply chains are to the way the economy functions. It also revealed how vulnerable they were. 

Carrying those experiences forward, Governor Ned Lamont announced on Thursday the launch of CONNEX™ Connecticut, a free online tool designed to strengthen the state’s local and domestic manufacturing supply chain. The platform provides one-stop access for manufacturers in the state to connect with each other, find local suppliers, discover new business opportunities, and manage their supply chains.

“Connecticut boasts some of the most sophisticated manufacturing in the world, and this new portal helps support these companies by enabling other businesses to easily find and connect with the local manufacturers that are making the products they need,” Governor Lamont said. “I strongly encourage every company in the state to register at this portal, post about the products and services your company offers, and get connected to new business opportunities.”

The technology was developed over a decade ago by Utah-based software company, i5 Services, in an effort to connect the U.S. manufacturing supply chain. Now available in Connecticut, the platform will help manufacturers find local suppliers based on their capabilities, not just current production, according to the governor’s office.

To help manufacturers find exactly what they need, results can be filtered through using hundreds of unique criteria such as equipment, processes, materials and certifications.

“The goal of this platform is to increase manufacturing growth by connecting Connecticut’s smaller suppliers with large manufacturers who need their services,” Paul Lavoie, Connecticut’s chief manufacturing officer, said. “This is just one of the ways we are working to strengthen Connecticut’s domestic manufacturing supply chain.”

The initiative was developed with the help of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), the state’s largest group business organization. The group advocates on behalf of thousands of Connecticut businesses. Chris DiPentima, president and CEO of CBIA said that the CONNEX platform will strengthen the state’s manufacturing industry and create a more local supply chain.

“As the Connecticut state partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, CBIA has seen the CONNEX Marketplace system’s success connecting supply chains in other states,” DiPentima said. “We are fortunate that we could facilitate the collaboration between NAM and CONNSTEP, Inc. so that every Connecticut manufacturer now has the opportunity to utilize CONNEX™ Connecticut at no cost.”

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Tom Hopkins wrote for CII from April 2022 to February 2023. Prior to joining CII, he worked in print, television, and as a freelance journalist.

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