Lamont visits pre-third shift crowd near Pratt factory gate

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The Governor greeted a pre third shift crowd outside ‘Augie and Rays’ Drive In’ near the Pratt and Whitney gate in East Hartford to reaffirm that he has a pledge from UTC to keep the jet engine maker in Connecticut and expand saying, “Pratt and Whitney is not only staying right here but expanding right here.”

The promise that Pratt will be hiring 1,000 more people here has been reassuring as more military and commercial orders appear to be coming in. “A lot of our more seasoned employees are begining to retire and we’ve been hiring a lot of people so if the trend stays the same then I think we’ll be fine,” said Kirby Boyce of Hartford who is President of the Machinists Union local.

Related: Lamont says UTC pledges to keep Pratt & Whitney here, add 1,000 jobs

Some of the people that came here today work at Collins Aerospace, a Connecticut subcontractor used by Raytheon. Mary White of Prospect is President of the union local at Collins in Cheshire and says,  “I really think it’ll be good for our company for our site in Cheshire and I think we’ll be just fine with it and I think it’s a good thing for us all.”

Governor Lamont saying,  “This is an industry that’s slowly consolidating so we’ve got Collins, Raytheon working together.  Now we have Pratt is all under the same umbrella.  All I care about is really good paying jobs here in the state of  Connecticut and make sure we can continue to make the best engines in the world.”

Related: UTC/Raytheon merger would move headquarters to Boston

Lamont says part of that is making sure there is a good training pipeline so Pratt has a good potential employee pool to hire from.

Of the 19,000 United Technologies employees in Connecticut, about 13,000 work at Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford and Middletown. Thousands more work at subcontractors all around the state.

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