Jan. 25—ENFIELD — The Lego Group's announcement Tuesday that it will be leaving Enfield for Boston in a few years has resonated with local and state officials, who say they are grateful employees will be retained and that the town should be aware of today's business needs.
The Lego Group has selected Boston for its head office in the Americas and will move from its current office in Enfield by the end of 2026.
The move will happen in phases beginning in mid-2025. Until then, Lego employees will work in both the Enfield office and the company education office in the Back Bay section of Boston.
Enfield has been Lego's home for almost 50 years, and the town is sorry to hear the news, Mayor Bob Cressotti said.
"But, on the other side, we were relieved to hear that all employees were being retained, and those who choose not to will be eligible for job transition assistance," he said.
Company officials said all employees based in Enfield now would have a position in the new office and receive assistance if they choose to relocate.
Those who choose not to relocate will receive financial support and job placement assistance for opportunities outside Lego, company officials said.
Gov. Ned Lamont said he is disappointed to hear the news, but is confident in Connecticut's ability to attract and retain companies that value the state's competitive advantages in education, workforce, and quality of life.
"We are seeing these advantages resonate more and more in industries such as advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and (financial technology)," he said.
Based on his conversations with Lego leadership Tuesday morning, Lamont said, the move from Enfield to Boston is not motivated by any Connecticut policy but rather Lego's desire to consolidate its business operations near the company's education office and to enhance its partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"While Lego has announced that no layoffs will be part of the relocation, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of Workforce Strategy, and Department of Labor will work with Lego to place affected workers who choose to depart the company and stay in Connecticut," Lamont said.
Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, said the news is disappointing but lawmakers need to learn important lessons from it.
"We need to assess the reasons Lego is leaving and make positive changes to our state's public policies in response," he said. "We should view this as a teachable moment to make Connecticut more affordable and more appealing to businesses like Lego."
Skip Kodak, president of the Lego Group in the Americas, said Boston is ranked one of the best cities in the world to attract and retain talent.
"This, along with its world-class academic institutions, skilled workforce, and great quality of life, makes it an ideal location for our U.S. head office," he said.
Town Manager Ellen Zoppo-Sassu referred to Kodak's comment, saying what Connecticut is or isn't doing has nothing to do with Lego's decision.
The way businesses and workers operate is changing, as evidenced by the fact that 29% of Americans were working from home as of October, she said.
Office parks are no longer in demand, Zoppo-Sassu said. Therefore, the town has to be cutting edge in how it deals with office space and find "what is next" insofar as what businesses in Enfield need, she said.
For the 2021 grand list, Lego was the 47th highest taxpayer, Todd Helems, Enfield's supervisor of assessment and revenue collection, said. The company sold its property on Print Shop Road to Winstanley Enterprises in 2017, which he said changed its standing from years past.
Lego is in the top 10 on the grand list for personal property, Helems said, which brings the town millions in tax revenue.
He and Zoppo-Sassu both said Lego has been a good partner with the town.
Zoppo-Sassu said the company has been a generous corporate citizen, especially with its yearly contribution of $100,000 to the local Family Resource Center.
Lego will continue its philanthropic efforts for the time the company remains in Enfield, she said.
Certainly, Zoppo-Sassu said, the departure of Lego will have an effect on Enfield, as more than 700 employees who patronize businesses in town will eventually be absent.
However, she said, Adam Winstanley plans to bring an equally viable tenant to the building, where Coca Cola is the other tenant.
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