Education Reform and Job Creation Key to Bridgeport's Future

Citing the city's increasing population - the first increase in 60 years - and renewed business activity, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch focused on job creation and education reform in his annual address before the Bridgeport Business Council.  The city's population grew 3.4% between 2000 and 2010 according to the U.S. Census.  Finch stressed the importance of businesses collaborating with the school system in Connecticut's largest city to promote opportunities that can lead to jobs.   Finch thanked new business owners, such as Columbia Elevator and Bridgeport BioDiesel, and long-established businesses like Schwerdtle Stamp for believing in Bridgeport.   He also noted that the Police Department has added 45 new officers and the Fire Department has added 25 new firefighters during his tenure as the city's chief elected official, and "continues to lead the nation in the installation of life saving smoke alarms."  More than 30,000 smoke alarms have been provided to city residences that previously did not have the potentially life-saving devices.