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The historic seaport city of Bridgeport is the largest city in Connecticut and is located on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Pequonnock River. Bridgeport is home to many parks and cultural attractions as well as a well-connected public transportation system that makes it easy to commute to nearby metropolitan areas like Manhattan, the Bronx and Fairfield.
The History of Bridgeport
When English colonists arrived in the area where Bridgeport now sits in the mid-1600s, they found it already inhabited by the Paugussett Native American tribe. The colonists named the area Pequonnock after the Native Americans. Farming and fishing were a way of life for the colonists, and the area became known as Stratford in the late 1600s.
As the town evolved into a center of domestic and international trade, it was renamed Bridgeport and incorporated in 1800. By the mid-1800s, Bridgeport was a major hub for the state thanks to the newly-constructed railroads. The town's industrial sector flourished, with several iron foundries and factories serving as an important presence in the post-Civil War economy. By 1910 the city's population had boomed to over 100,000, attracting a diverse population of immigrants who were hoping for work in one of the many large factories.
As of today, the city has undergone revitalization efforts that include a push for rental conversions and new, mixed-use development projects.
Jobs in Bridgeport
Bridgeport's unemployment rate is quite a bit higher than the national average, though job growth has taken a turn toward an upward trend. Despite the city's high unemployment rate, you may still be able to find well-paying jobs, especially if you don't mind a commute. Opportunities for professionals are nearly always available in neighboring New York City, and within Bridgeport itself, manufacturing and service job openings are often on the market.
After the decline of the age of industry, Bridgeport's economy has had to adjust. Now it's diversified quite a bit, with the service industry playing an important role as the backbone of the city. Health care, finance and education are growing sectors in Bridgeport, so you may find a number of jobs in those sectors. If you're on a job hunt, you might want to start with the city's largest employers: St. Vincent Medical Center, Bridgeport Hospital and People's United Bank.
Bridgeport Public Schools operates the public schools within the city's limits. You can also find an array of private schools to choose from, with both parochial and secular campuses spread throughout the community.
If higher education is among your personal and professional goals, the University of Bridgeport is just one of the local post-secondary campuses where you can enroll.
Resources for Moving to Bridgeport
Here are some helpful resources for preparing for a move to Bridgeport:
- Utilities: Bridgeport's major energy providers are the United Illuminating Co., Northeast Utilities Service Co., Kinder Morgan and the Southern Connecticut Gas Co. The Aquarion Water Co. of Connecticut manages the city's residential water.
- Garbage and Recycling: The city facilitates trash and recyclables collection on a weekly basis, with the exception of a few national holidays.
- Transportation: Greater Bridgeport Transit operates a large network of public buses throughout the city.
About 70 different neighborhoods comprise the Bridgeport area, providing many housing options to fit your budget and lifestyle. Downtown is great for easy access to various food and entertainment venues, while Black Rock offers more of a historic vibe. The median house value in the city is well below that of other large cities in the area, making it a fairly affordable option.