EAST HARTFORD, CT — Jet manufacturer Pratt & Whitney will be laying off about 450 workers in Connecticut, including 381 in East Hartford. In a statement released Tuesday, the company laid the blame on the coronavirus:
"Pratt & Whitney continues to experience and forecast reduced commercial business due to COVID-19. This has forced us to take further actions to align with current and future business demand in an evolving environment. We have made the extremely difficult but necessary decision to implement an involuntary separation program for our salaried workforce."
The layoffs are part of the 15,000 in personnel cutbacks projected by parent company Raytheon Technologies last month. Cuts are also expected at the company's aviation and military equipment manufacturer, Collins Aerospace, according to Forbes.
"As difficult as these decisions are, taking actions to resize our workforce today, while managing our cost structure and continuing to invest in new programs, positions Pratt & Whitney for the long term and ensures a strong future for the company, our employees, customers and shareowners," the company said in a statement.
The Massachusetts-based aerospace and defense company has about 195,000 employees. In addition to the design, manufacture and service of engines and auxiliary power systems for commercial, military and business aircraft, it also develops advanced sensors and software for missiles and defense systems.