HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-- The state's largest private employer; United Technologies, says the federal government shutdown may result in 5,000 furloughs by the end of the month.
Sikorsky in Stratford will be first to be hit with furloughs, 2,000 on Monday. Other UTC divisions could soon follow.
"It scares everybody in there, anytime you're talking furloughs," said Ron Frost, Middlefield.
"It's definitely on everyone's mind and the anxiety level is way up," said Frank Checko, Cromwell.
Word that Sikorsky will furlough 2,000 workers Monday has increased the anxiety level at jet engine maker Pratt and Whitney as well.
Sikorsky says the shutdown has completely stopped their ability to make and support helicopters used by all U.S. military branches.
They can't work because government inspectors that okay the work have been furloughed.
The very same federal government inspectors do the same type of work at Pratt and Whitney's plants in East Hartford and Middletown they have also been furloughed.
"All the parts that we need to be inspected so that the whole flow of the engine builds can be done has come to a stop," said Checko.
"It's going to stop the F-135 program that we have going on for the military, the F-100s, so our guys are real concerned," said David Durbin, Ivoryton.
"We're coming up into Christmas time, very scary to have this happening, I think congress really has to get to work, much like we want to stay at work," said Frost.
The hundreds of small sub-contractors that make specialized parts for the jet engines that have only recently started hiring again are obviously also affected.
"Every time we get a head of steam they find a way in Washington to screw it up," said Gov. Dannel Malloy,(D) Connecticut.
One of the state's top economists says, it's happening faster than anyone thought and it could totally derail the state's recovery.
"We are in a sustained period of job growth but this, of course, throws a big monkey wrench into that," said Pete Gioia, C.B.I.A. Economist.
It appears UTC's furloughs will be heavily weighted toward their divisions here in Connecticut but would also affect West Palm Beach in Florida, and Troy, Alabama.
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