A Connecticut manufacturer is poised to hire thousands of workers over the next 10 years.
Jet engine-maker Pratt & Whitney announced on Friday that it will create 8,000 jobs in Connecticut and about 25,000 nationwide.
The East Hartford-based company's president, Robert Leduc, said it's part of a significant expansion.
He revealed the plans during a breakfast for the Middletown Chamber of Commerce.
Leduc said the company couldn't hire fast enough to manufacture the next generation of engines, which are known for using less fuel and operating more quietly.
The company is expected to make 200 engines this year and increase that number to 1,500 a year.
In 2013, the news was not as good. The aerospace manufacturer shed 350 workers at its plants in Hartford, East Hartford and Middletown.
Friday's news, however, is being praised at a time when the state is in need of jobs.
David Pines, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Hartford, was one of the people praising the expansion.
"I think it's a fantastic opportunity not only for our students but for Connecticut," he told Eyewitness News. "They said they are going to hire 1,000 engineers --- which is really an opportunity for our students on how we can best prepare our students to meet their need. One of the things we like to do here at the University of Hartford is to partner with Pratt, which we have already done."
Many of the 8,000 jobs will be engineering positions, 1,000 of them could be hired in the coming year.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said he was proud of Pratt & Whitney's commitment to Connecticut.
"This is announcement is proof positive that we are moving in the right direction and our investments – including the historic deal made with United Technologies in 2014 – have been successful in encouraging companies to expand right here in Connecticut,” Malloy said. “We are adding jobs in key, cutting-edge industries due to strategic investments, and have used competitive economic development policy to foster growth – but we must continue to do more to make Connecticut an economic hub of the region and the nation.”
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said the state is home to some of the nation's most talented aerospace and defense manufacturers and suppliers.
"We’ve made investing in our next generation workforce a priority," Wyman said. "Gov. Malloy, Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development, and the legislature have worked hard to improve the state’s business climate and it’s working. I applaud Pratt & Whitney President Robert Leduc and his team for their commitment to our state.”
Eyewitness News will have more on this story starting at 5 p.m.
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