One family's history of bright ideas is lighting up the local economy.
, a source for lighting in Milford since the mid-1950s, has a new claim to fame: their lights are shining on the new Metro-North M-8 rail cars.
William Maley Jr. works with founder and father William Maley Sr., brother Andrew and daughter Sarah at the company's Wampus Lane location. Maley Jr. says the massive project for Kawasaki has kept more than 70 jobs in Milford at their factory and constitutes roughly a third of the company’s business.
Trans-Lite, which won a bidding war for the project against companies from as far as Texas, was very much on its own in its quest to acquire a contract for the new trains, according to Maley Jr.
“A lot of other states will encourage or even put in certain specifications for the vehicles, but the state of Connnecticut wouldn't do that. They didn’t give Kawasaki any incentive to use us,” he said. “DOT said that it wasn’t a viable thing and they couldn’t do it; they said it would be an ethics issue. We went to the ethics commission and they said, ‘No,’ it wasn’t an issue."
“The fact that they are able to get these contracts is a good thing for Milford,” said Robert Gregory, the city's Economic Development Director. “It keeps that company strong and keeps them as a valuable part of our business community. They’re a piece of the puzzle with a good history of community involvement.”
The Metro-North project helps Trans-Lite keep dozens of manufacturing jobs, but it also helps the locally contracted supporting business, such as fabrication houses and product painters.