Professional Profile: Robert Bruce 1974

Robert Bruce - 1974

Name: Robert Bruce - 1974

Title: Economic Developer

Company: Town of South Windsor, Conn.

Location: South Windsor, Conn.

Birthplace: -

Robert Bruce 1974   Bob Bruce, 48, economic developer for the town of South Windsor, maintains an active interest in the space program by building space ships (one is 16 ft. long and weights one-half ton) which do everything but fly. Although his space ships may not get off the ground, Bruce has successfully invented an electric propulsion system for ecology-minded boat people, which is receiving substantial attention this year by major electric companies. Bruce’s space ship is all electric, but it doesn’t get more than a few inches off the ground when it’s electric jack tilts it into a 45 degree re-entry position. The space ship is even equipped with a radar antenna, which rotates. All of this may sound incredibly technical and complicated to most laymen, but Bruce chuckles when he explains that his space ship is made mainly from part of old cars, stoves and the like. For instance, the radar was once a strainer and the rocket exhausts started life as plastic drinking glasses and the nose cone was a plastic garbage can and so on and so forth. The pollutant-free boating involves similar scavenging, but with much more potential value to society. For instance, he has bought a number of wingflap motors from B-17 planes, attached one to a 12-volt battery and to a propeller, and has enough power for a cruise for about 30 minutes of silent boating. Bruce puts no less imagination into his job as economic developer for South Windsor. He finds the job challenging because he has the responsibility to coordinate the industrial and commercial development of more than 2600 acres of industrial zoned land along U.S. Rte. 5, just minutes away from the city of Hartford. This land is at the apex of junction of Interstates 91 and 84, with connectors direct access to both areas. The Town of South Windsor which hired Bruce this past January to coordinate this package has spent the last 10 years getting the town ready with zoning and major utility development having put in water, sewers and other utilities to almost all of the entire region. Bruce’s direction is a total coordination on local, state and national levels, as his expertise of some 20 years in total economic development have left their mark in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Florida, Massachusetts and now Connecticut. His work ranges from a major IBM facility in Essex Junction, Vt., in 1957 to a major university development program in St. Petersberg, Fla., in 1960. He was recognized in 1957 by the Dept. of Commerce and President Eisenhower’s office for his unusual programs of development. In his early years he was a vocational agricultural instructor for the State of Connecticut, and then after development of some experimental teaching programs for veterans, he went into Chamber of Commerce and related fields in 1962. His work at the Space Center in 1962 was noted in several national magazines and newspapers. The Connecticut native is married to the former Elizabeth Standish of Colchester and they have five children. Bruce’s work in private development has brought him inquiries from substantial numbers of companies looking for sties for new industries, and this coupled with his work to attract industries for communities, keeps him in demand on the East Coast.