The state's largest private employer is renewing its commitment to Connecticut under a $500 million agreement announced Wednesday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Under the agreement, which requires legislative approval, United Technologies (UTC) would invest up to $500 million to upgrade and expand its aerospace research, development and manufacturing facilities over the next five years.
During the same time period, UTC expects to invest up to $4 billion in research and other capital expenditures in the state, according to a press release from Malloy's office. UTC is the parent company to aerospace giants Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky Aircraft.
Specifically, the company will:
- Construct a new Pratt & Whitney corporate headquarters (in East Hartford), which it will keep in Connecticut for a minimum of 15 years
- Construct a new Pratt & Whitney worldwide engineering center of excellence in Connecticut
- Keep Sikorsky corporate headquarters in Connecticut for a minimum of 5 years
- Create a customer training center at UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) in Windsor Locks
- Build new labs and infrastructure at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC)
- Invest in new research projects and capital investments at Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, UTAS and UTRC
Construction on the projects could begin this year and continue through 2018, if the agreement is approved.
“United Technologies’ aerospace businesses, and in particular Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky, have long and proud histories of innovation in Connecticut,” United Technologies Chairman & CEO Louis Chênevert said. “This agreement secures the future of aerospace in Connecticut. It will open a bright new chapter for our aerospace businesses, for our thousands of local suppliers and for the people of Connecticut."
He continued, "The investments announced today will enable UTC’s aerospace businesses to continue to perform cutting-edge research and development in Connecticut and will provide exciting new opportunities for top engineering and science graduates – including the best and brightest from our state’s colleges and universities.”
“Connecticut has long led the world when it comes to the aerospace industry. With the agreement we are announcing today, we will ensure that we remain a leader for years to come,” Malloy said. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, one that will make sure we are keeping and creating good-paying jobs with good benefits – not just in the UTC companies, but also in the hundreds of aerospace supply chain companies throughout the state and the region."
"UTC’s decision to invest now in new facilities in our state is a strong signal of their belief in Connecticut’s talented workforce, commitment to innovation, and determination to build a world-class business climate,” Malloy added.
The release from Malloy's office says the agreement does not require any borrowing or payments by the State of Connecticut, and is expected to create nearly 1,500 construction and other related jobs throughout the initial capital expansion.
If enacted, the legislation will allow exchange of approximately $20 million per year of previously earned but unused tax credits to finance the construction, up to a maximum of $400 million. The exchanged credits will be offset with tax reductions over a 14-year period, with the final amount based on the company’s level of jobs, wages and investments.
If UTC fails to meet any of its obligations under the agreement, the benefits to the company would be either significantly reduced or eliminated.
“This agreement is great news for our state and our economy, and represents a turning point in Connecticut’s status as a business-friendly state," said Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden). "UTC’s impact reaches all corners of Connecticut as both a major employer and corporate citizen. Their history and importance to our state cannot be overstated, and their commitment to keeping Connecticut home is welcome news.”