‘What I see is opportunity.’ 200 high-tech jobs coming to Bridgeport

Hundreds of high-paying, high-tech jobs are coming to Bridgeport – and they could lead to even more.
On Friday afternoon, Gov. Ned Lamont announced that Nanoramic Labs will convert an old factory space into a next-generation lithium-ion battery factory.
Bridgeport was once the industrial engine of Connecticut, but those days have passed the city by.
“There's a lot of crime,” said lifelong resident Irving Webb. “A lot of crime.”
But where some see despair, Nanoramic founder John Cooley sees opportunity.
“What a better way to rejuvenate a community than to put in advanced clean energy manufacturing?” he said.
Nanoramic is partnering with the University of Bridgeport to train some 200 workers for high-paying positions.
“We're not just talking about jobs that are menial,” said state Sen. Herron Gaston (D)-Bridgeport). “We're talking about jobs that are going to help people and their families.”
Cooley’s company, which started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is designing the next generation of lithium-ion batteries, which power everything from cell phones to electric cars. Nanoramic is developing a cleaner battery that does not create toxic by-products like PFAS, while also being able to store more energy.
“In a car, you'll see that your car will drive further – maybe 30% further – and will cost less,” Cooley said.
The Bridgeport facility will produce batteries for electric grid storage – a critical need when storms knock power service out.
Bridgeport beat out several others sites across the country, including New York state. While the project is getting $47.5 million from the federal government, it’s not getting any state incentives, according to the Lamont administration.
Cooley said his company is all about re-inventing the past, so Bridgeport made sense.
“We're really coming full circle,” he said. “What I see is opportunity when we drive around Bridgeport.”
The company is still negotiating for a location. After that, Cooley said the new battery factory could open in 2025.