After testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee last November, SMT Corporation's Vice President Tom Sharpe issued an invite to Sen. Richard Blumenthal for a tour of the Sandy Hook facility, which specializes in electronic components and counterfeit detection of such parts.
On Monday, Blumenthal took Sharpe up on his offer, spending about an hour and a half at SMT, 14 High Bridge Road, before heading to Danbury to visit with Goodrich, an aerospace and defense system and service supplier, and later and Rizzo Corporation in Danbury.
Sharpe said he issued the invite at the same time he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which Blumenthal is a member. Sharpe's company, which he formed along with his wife, specializes in detecting counterfeit parts used in the aerospace and defense industry.
"Our business model is sourcing obsolete parts for the Department of Defense," he said.
Part of the job of finding the right component includes filtering out the counterfeit ones, many of which come from China, Sharpe said.
Blumenthal spent his time at the Sandy Hook facility touring SMT Corporation's processes for detecting counterfeits, Sharpe said. Blumenthal's press schedule said it was a continuation of the senator's tour of businesses across the state.
Jobs came up during the tour, according to Sharpe, who believes Newtown can prove to be a draw for hi-tech companies, such as his and Advanced Fusion System, which is in the midst of renovating a facility on Edmond Road, as long as tax incentives are in place, Sharpe said.
"Newtown would be perfect, there's no doubt about it," the town resident said, citing a well-educated work force as a draw. "You've got a great base in terms of your population."
SMT received tax breaks when the company relocated from Monroe to Newtown in 2003, and Sharpe said he believes incentives need to be in place for businesses to invest in areas, such as Fairfield Hills.
"There should be more," he said of business incentives. "There absolutely should be more."