The agreement reached by Governor Dannel P. Malloy and United Technologies Corp. to keep Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford and other UTC subsidiaries elsewhere in the state has the potential to retain and create tens of thousands of jobs as well as bolster Connecticut’s position as host to a world leader in the aerospace industry, state Rep. Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford) said.
“The agreement utilizes a proposal the East Hartford delegation introduced in 2011 that would allow for a new use for economic incentives that the state has granted for years,” said Rojas, who is the House chairman of the legislature’s Planning and Development Committee and also represents a part of Manchester.
“This proposal has the potential to ensure that Pratt & Whitney’s long history in East Hartford continues and that UTC, the state’s largest employer, and its other subsidiaries remain in Connecticut.”
“But while the benefits to East Hartford and the state are huge, the agreement’s costs in terms of tax credits and incentives are significant and have to be carefully weighed,” Rojas said. “We have to give thoughtful consideration to the potential cost to taxpayers.”
Rojas said the agreement, which requires legislative approval, allows for UTC to receive research and development tax credits in exchange for $1 billion in continued research and development spending and about $500 million in new facilities, including a new global headquarters for Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford.
The agreement will have an impact on 75,000 jobs in Connecticut and is expected to create 1,500 construction and other related jobs throughout the initial capital expansion, Rojas said.
Rojas said the presence of UTC in East Hartford is remarkably significant:
· 6,871 UTC employees work on the East Hartford campus of Pratt & Whitney
· 515 residents of East Hartford are UTC employees
· 87 UTC suppliers are located in East Hartford
“The fact that there are 87 UTC suppliers in East Hartford alone is remarkable,” Rojas said. “Beyond that, UTC has nearly 2,500 direct suppliers across Connecticut and nearly 700 of these suppliers have each provided more than $100,000 in goods and services to UTC over the past year.”
The centerpiece of the agreement is the commitment to maintain P&W’s Global Headquarters in Connecticut for 15 years, the construction of a new 425,000-square-foot world-class engineering and global headquarters building for P&W and building of new labs and infrastructure at United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford.
And during the same time period, the company expects to invest up to $4 billion in research and other capital expenditures in the state. In exchange for UTC’s investment, the state would grant about $400 million in tax credits, which could be rescinded if UTC is unable to fulfill the agreement.
“This is a significant investment in the state and East Hartford,” Rojas said. “It is something that we have to seriously consider.”