Jobs in Hartford, 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.
HARTFORD – Insurance Capital of the World
Portrait of Contemporary Hartford
Hartford is the state capital and the third largest city in the state of Connecticut. The city’s population has declined steadily since 1950. It currently numbers 123,000, comprised mainly of Hispanics (all races, 43%), Black African Americans (35%) and Non-Hispanic Whites (15%). Hartford is located in Hartford County, in the Connecticut River Valley in north-central Connecticut.
The Greater Hartford metropolitan area extends northward to join with the metropolitan area of Springfield, MA. Hartford County is relatively affluent but the city is the most impoverished in the state. Median household income is far below both US and state averages. Unemployment is high and a third of the population lives in poverty.
The founding of Cigna in 1792 gave the city its start as a national center for the insurance industry. Today, Hartford is still the focal point for the American insurance industry. UTC, an aerospace, defense and building conglomerate, employs 22,000 in Greater Hartford. The Hartford CT–Springfield MA Economic Partnership was formed in 2000.
Hartford, with its postmodern skyline, state government district and wide streets, serves as business center for this ‘Knowledge Corridor.’ Most jobs in Hartford are filled by commuters from nearby towns earning over $80,000 a year, but most Hartford residents work elsewhere and earn just $40,000 a year. Therefore the city itself has a low tax base and risks bankruptcy.
The Connecticut River Valley consists of an alluvial floodplain bordered by hilly rural terrain. The river runs through Hartford, which is prone to flooding. The climate is continental, with four distinct seasons.
Early History and Industrial Revolution
Hartford is the site of the first English colony in Connecticut. In 1836 Samuel Colt patented the revolver and introduced the use of interchangeable parts and an organized assembly line. He and his wife Elizabeth patronized the arts to promote their brand, a practice that still endures.
Besides firearms, Hartford factories also produced sewing machines, typewriters, bicycles, automobiles, machine tools and aircraft engines. For a time it was the richest city in the U.S. During WWII, its industrial base attracted defense industries, but manufacturing declined in the late 20th century. Construction of I-91 in the 1950s cut off pedestrian access to the Connecticut River, but since 1980, the Riverfront Recapture Organization has worked to restore it. Achievements include Mortensen Riverfront Plaza which opened in 2000 as a hub for year-round outdoor activities; the opening of the nearby Connecticut Science Center in 2009; and restoration of a small park and boat launching pad (Riverside Park).
Amenities and Cultural Attractions
Hartford is home to the oldest public park (Bushnell Park), a walker’s haven with many flower gardens (Elizabeth Park), one of the nation’s oldest public art museums (Wadsworth Atheneum),homes of two famous American authors (Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain), and the Connecticut State Capitol.
The theater scene includes Broadway productions (Bushnell Theater)and stage plays (Hartford Stage and Theaterworks). A historic building houses City Arts, a base for non-profit arts organizations founded by Theaterworks in 1985. The XL Center, formerly Hartford Civic Center, a multipurpose downtown arena and exhibition hall, hosts pro hockey and collegiate basketball. A minor league baseball stadium (Dunkin Donuts Park) opened in 2016.
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