WALLINGFORD — The town is working to attract companies based in Brazil, giving several foreign business representatives a tour of the town.
Tim Ryan, the town’s economic development specialist, said that he hoped to impart that the town is working to build its economic base “but we’re not doing it at the expense of who we are.”
“These folks are from big cities...they don’t see things like this very often,” he said. “To have them see themselves running a company in more of a rural environment is different.”
The group was welcomed to town by Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. and Joe Mirra, founder and chairman of HUBCAP. In addition to seeing the town center and several industrial parks this past Thursday, they visited Gouveia Vineyards to take in the view of the whole town.
The group stopped for lunch and a presentation by School Superintendent Salvatore Menzo at the Center for Innovation and Design at Fritz Elementary School.
Ryan said he wanted to show the visiting businesses that the town is investing in its future.
“We have businesses in town we certainly want to see stay here, we have business segments we want to see grow, and in order to do that there needs to be talent in order to provide a workforce and give the students an opportunity to make that decision,” he said.
The tour was organized through Hub 55, a New Haven-based company that facilitates bringing Brazilian companies to Connecticut.
Karina Fensterseifer, co-founder of Hub 55, said that the group from Brazil also toured Hartford and New Haven.
“The companies can take a look at everything and decide if Connecticut is a good fit,” she said.
Fensterseifer said the businesses visiting Wallingford included two start-ups, two IT companies, an environmental controls company and a software company.
She said that since they are still working on their business plans, they’re not sure what type of office or facility they might need if they were to move to Wallingford.
Touring the school, she said, was part of the full experience of the town.
“For people with families, this is a really good place to consider,” she said.
One of the visiting companies was InYou Health, which provides personalized healthy lifestyle recommendations through DNA analysis.
Leo Mereu, a representative from InYou Health, said that the company is exploring whether it can find a partner lab in the United States for content production.
“People are very receptive,” Mereu said about his road tour of the state. “It’s great to know that American states are so open to receive foreign companies.”