As LEGO looks to Boston, Connecticut leaders concerned about fate of 700 employees
The mayor of Enfield, Connecticut, says LEGO has provided the building blocks of the community for 50 years, and he is saddened at the company’s plans to depart. The toy firm recently announced that its headquarters for the Americas will leave town and move to Boston by the end of 2026.
Mayor Bob Cressotti compared the company to other businesses that have come and gone over the decades, leaving their mark on the community’s industrial heritage.
“LEGOs will always be part of Enfield, just like the Bigelow Carpet factory will always be part of Enfield, Hallmark Cards will still be part of Enfield,” Cressotti said. “So there is still a legacy to be left behind.”
He said the company and its more than 700 Connecticut employees have been great partners with the town’s school system. But the handwriting was on the wall for these changes, the mayor said, after LEGO announced last year that it was building a large factory in Virginia.
Though the move will be a loss for the town, Cressotti said he is concerned for the LEGO employees and hopes the company follows through with financial support for those affected.
“We want to make sure that the people who are employed with LEGO receive that relocation assistance, and if they choose not to relocate, to make sure that there is financial support and job placement assistance for them to transition for new opportunities outside of this company,” Cressotti told Connecticut Public on Thursday.
Shortly after LEGO announced its plans to move, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said the state will offer its resources to help LEGO workers find other job opportunities in Connecticut.
Cressotti also hopes that investments in Enfield’s train station and the redevelopment of Thompsonville will improve the city’s economic fortunes. At the same time, he said several companies are expanding or moving into town. There is a plan to repurpose the former MassMutual site, which has been empty since that company left several years ago.
Cressotti said the town will also work with the owners of the building that houses LEGO’s current offices to help find new tenants.
“We will always have those building blocks available,” he said.
This story is a production of the New England News Collaborative. It was originally published by Connecticut Public Radio.