Maine jet engine maker plans rehirings

Posted June 06, 2010, at 1:34 p.m.

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney says it plans to expand its local work force over the next several years, the first time it’s doing so since the recession sent the aviation industry into a tailspin.

General Manager Peter Borgel tells Foster’s Daily Democrat that the initial increase will be small. He says about 10 employees who were laid off during the recession will be rehired.

There are 1,286 workers now employed at Pratt. Borgel says he plans to have the company back to its pre-recession level of 1,500 by 2015.

But his plan faces an obstacle. Borgel says federal lawmakers are ready to continue funding a rival engine to one Pratt makes for the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a stealth aircraft that will be used by several branches of the military.

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