HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Ned Lamont said he’s been talking to United Technologies Corp. Chairman and CEO Greg Hayes over the past 48 hours and has received some assurances of the company’s continued role in the state.
“The first is that UTC intends to make 1,000 new hires at Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut over the next few years,” Lamont said in a statement. “The second is that Otis will remain in Connecticut upon spin-off and they are already hiring new employees for their headquarters in Farmington.”
Over the weekend, UTC announced its merger with Raytheon Co. and a decision to move its corporate headquarters from Farmington to Boston.
UTC plans to spin off Carrier and Otis by the end of the year. Both are currently located in Farmington.
“Connecticut punches above its weight in aerospace, defense, engineering, and advanced manufacturing,” Lamont said. “Our highly skilled talent, advanced manufacturing education programs, and ecosystem are ground zero for companies like Pratt & Whitney and Otis. No one is willing to walk away from that.”
But the decision to move the corporate headquarters to Boston still stings.
In 2016, General Electric moved from Fairfield to Boston. A year later, Alexion Pharmaceuticals paid back $24 million in state grants and tax credits and decided to move from New Haven to Boston.
“It should not be seen as mere coincidence that a company, employing 19,000 individuals and has called Connecticut home for almost 100 years, announced over the weekend the departure of its headquarters, and is moving north to Boston, Mass.,” said House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, blaming the Democratic majority for the company’s decision.
Even though nearly all 19,000 Connecticut employees of United Technologies will stay in Connecticut, it’s still a loss for the Nutmeg state.
Democratic lawmakers have tried to put a positive spin on the situation.
Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said Monday that “this is a business making a business decision. They’ve never said anything negative about the state.”
He said the bulk of the jobs are staying in Connecticut and the state will continue to compete for jobs because it has one of the most productive workforces in the nation.
“It’s a great place to do business,” Duff added.
Lamont said he’s grateful to UTC’s “continued commitment.”
“Our best days are ahead, and while the increasingly global economy requires us to think differently, move quickly, and innovate smartly, we also can’t forget the pillars on which this state was built,” Lamont said. “With this investment, there will be more good-paying jobs for our families, a stronger state economy, and greater opportunities for all those who call our state home.”