PITTSFIELD — United Technologies Corp. Fire and Security announced Tuesday that it will close its factory in Pittsfield and the more than 300 jobs there will be shipped to three of the company’s other plants.
Town Manager Kathryn Ruth confirmed the closing Tuesday night, calling it “unfortunate news.” The factory will be shuttered March 1, 2015, she said.
“We were in contact with UTC officials to work with them in any way possible to keep the plant open,” Ruth said Tuesday at a Town Council meeting. “We’ve been advised the closure is due to the need of UTC to reduce floor space. It’s a decision of the company and not due to the plant, the employees or the town.”
Employees will begin to be phased out this fall.
“This will be a challenge,” Ruth said, “but with challenges come opportunities.”
About 25 percent of the people employed at UTC are from Pittsfield, Ruth said, while the remaining 75 percent live in communities from Waterville to Bangor.
“This is a regional facility, and it will affect the whole region,” she said.
Pittsfield Mayor Gary Jordan said he received a letter from the company saying there will be 100 jobs available for employees willing to relocate.
A spokesman for Edwards, the division of United Technologies that operates in Pittsfield, confirmed the relocation offer and said those jobs will be at the company’s Lincolnton, N.C., plant.
The Pittsfield manufacturing plant, which is beside the Sebasticook River, is the town’s second-largest employer, according to the town’s website. The plant was formerly General Electric Security until United Technologies bought it in 2010. The largest employer, Cianbro, employs 360 people in Pittsfield.
United Technologies issued a statement Tuesday night saying the move is part of the company’s effort to “ensure continued competitiveness.” Work being done in Pittsfield will be moved to Lincolnton, Mexico and China, spokeswoman Ashley Barrie said via email.
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