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Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 9:16am

Columbus Courts Pratt-Whitney Jobs

The scheduled closure of two Pratt and Whitney plants in Connecticut could be west Georgia’s gain.

Right now, the aerospace parts manufacturer employs more than 450 people at its Columbus plant. Now city officials are stepping-up their efforts to add more jobs in the wake of the Connecticut news.

Pratt and Whitney just struck a deal with its workers’ union to close its Connecticut facilities, affecting 500 jobs there. But the company says it doesn’t know yet how many will be preserved and moving elsewhere.

Becca Hardin with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce says they’re starting a full court press to remind company officials of what west Georgia offers:

“I know that currently Pratt and Whitney has quite a few retired militaries that work with them now. And as Fort Benning grows, there will continue to be workforce opportunities for all the companies that are local here.”

Hardin says state economic officials, and the governor’s office are involved in the push.

The Columbus plant has been operational since the mid 80’s, rebuilding engines for commercial, military and business jets.