Long known for its history of being the center of brass making in the country, Waterbury is now the fifth-largest city in Connecticut, with a population of nearly 108,000. The brass manufacturing industry has since left the city, leaving the west-central Connecticut town struggling to restructure its economy. Manufacturing and distribution remain a strong part of the blue-collar town, but Waterbury has diversified its industry by becoming an attractive place for corporations to set up their headquarters. Tourism and retail also contribute to the city's economy, as downtown Waterbury serves as the primary urban center in what is known as the Central Naugatuck Valley Region.
Waterbury continues to be a center of manufacturing, in spite of the collapse of the brass industry. In addition, Waterbury's favorable proximity to interstate highways and low real estate prices has turned the city into a major Northeast distribution and warehouse center. There has been an effort to convert the unused freight yards and abandoned factories into office spaces and apartment buildings.
Low real estate prices and encouraging laws have brought a significant number of white-collar jobs into the city. Companies that are located in Waterbury include Webster Financial Corp, which is the holding company for Webster Bank, having 180 locations throughout New England. Founded in 1935, the company offers investment advisory, small business and government lending, as well as a number of other services.
QScend Technologies Inc., is a Web-based software company, known as a leader in its industry, publishes software designed to help municipalities to better serve their residents.
Other Waterbury companies include Les-Care Kitchens, Hubbard-Hall, Inc., American Bank of Connecticut, Voltarc Technologies Inc., and Waterbury Companies Inc. Financial service and banking industries have experienced a boom in Waterbury, along with chemical research.
Educational and health services being the biggest employer industries, followed by trade, transportation, utilities and manufacturing.
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