Jobs in Bristol, Connecticut, United States
Congregationalists founded the first English colony in central Connecticut in 1636 and soon settled throughout the state. They obtained a royal charter in 1662 and governed until 1818. The state has a strong maritime tradition. During the 19th century it also became a major center for financial services and manufacturing.
Irish and southeastern European immigrants came to work in the factories and introduced Catholicism. In the 1950s and 60s, economic expansion led to an influx of Puerto Rican and African-American workers, but 71 percent of the state’s population of 3.5 million is still non-Hispanic and white, and their religious traditions remain influential.
Ending of the Cold War and endemic corruption led to a period of late-20th century decline, but since 2008 the economy has begun to rebound. Finance, insurance and real estate now account for a third of the state’s GDP. manufacturing, the arts and tourism are also important. Affluent communities within commuting distance from New York make Connecticut a high-income state, but wealth is unevenly distributed and many older industrial cities are now impoverished.
BRISTOL – Bell City
Portrait of Contemporary Bristol
With a population of 60,000, Bristol is the tenth largest city in the state of Connecticut. It is a suburb of Hartford, located in Hartford County about 18 miles from the state capital. The current population is comprised mainly of Non-Hispanic Whites (78%) and Hispanics (all races, 13%). Hartford County and Bristol are both relatively affluent.
Though below the state average, the city’s median household income is well above the US average. Unemployment is not high, and poverty is relatively low. There are several distinct neighborhoods, each of which still reflects the character of the earlier village that predated the city.
Development of the city’s downtown area has long been the responsibility of a regional planning authority, but in the 1990s local residents formed a Blight Committee to enforce the city’s strict appearance codes and ensure that properties are not abandoned and are reasonably maintained.
This has enabled Bristol to avoid the urban decay and blight found in some other older cities in Hartford County. In 2008, the city embarked on a major redevelopment project for the downtown area, but except for some park and infrastructure improvements, this has been put on hold due to financial constraints. The sports TV network ESPN is headquartered in Bristol and the nearby Lake Compounce Theme Park (the oldest theme park in the US), an Otis Elevator Test Tower and Bristol Hospital are all major local employers.
The Connecticut River Valley consists of an alluvial floodplain bordered by hilly rural terrain. Bristol sits just west of the floodplain, with some wooded areas on its boundaries.
There are many parks. The Harry Barnes Memorial Nature Center comprises 70 acres of forest and fields, with nature trails, environmental education programs and an interpretive center. The climate is continental, with four distinct seasons.
Early History and Industrial Revolution
The town of Bristol was incorporated in 1785. During the 19th century Bristol became known for its spring-operated doorbells, giving the city its nickname of ‘Bell City.’ It went on to become the nation’s leading producer of mechanical clocks and springs. In 1911, the town absorbed several neighboring villages and incorporated as the city of Bristol. During WWII, clockmakers in Bristol switched to producing time fuses for the military.
After the war, foreign competition and the advent of electrical timepieces led to the eventual disappearance of Bristol’s clock industry. Associated Spring, a precision components manufacturer founded in 1857 and now a member of the Barnes Group, is the only company remaining in Bristol from that period. Until the mid-1980s, Bristol nurseries were also important producers of chrysanthemums, a popular flower at fall festivals.
Amenities and Cultural Attractions
Specialty museums include: (i) American Clock and Watch Museum, (ii) Bristol Historical Society Museum, (iii) Bristol Military Memorial Museum, (iv) Imagine Nation Children’s Museum, (v) New England Carousel Museum, and (vi) Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum. Muzzy Field is one of the oldest ballparks in the U.S. It hosts a summer collegiate baseball team every year.
The Bartlett Giamatti Little League Center also hosts the Little League Playoffs every August. Important annual events are the Bristol Mum Festival, a 6-day fall festival and parade since 1962, and a street festival with car show and family farms weekend every September.
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