Part of Pratt and proud of it

So today I covered Gov. LePage’s jobs workshop today, held at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland. There were about 150 business people there – and I’ve got a full story filed.

But I wanted to point out this small part of the story – if it comes true, it’s great news for Southern Maine:

snip — The participants also heard from one business with big expansion plans – Pratt & Whitney, which has a 1,329 person division in North Berwick, making jet engine components. Leo Dionne of Pratt said the division plans to hire 500 new employees over the next five years to handle new lines. The company has invested about $10 million in capital projects in North Berwick this year, he said, with $15 million to $18 million planned next year and $20 million a year for the next few years after.

The division has been successful, he said, because it has focused on making a number of components in jet engines, not just one. And, he said, the company has embraced a lean manufacturing mentality for all parts of the operation, from shipping to engineering to production. — end snip

This part didn’t make it into the story – we’ve only got so much room for verbiage and what not.

Dionne said the company has a 1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in N. Berwick. Half its work goes into commercial jet engines, half into military, including the new F-135s. Of the 1,329 people working there, about 900 are in manufacturing, 100 in engineering and 200 in aftermarket services (the division is pushing to do more overhaul and repair work).

The hourly workers make, on average, about $26 an hour – or about $54,000 a year. The Salaried workers make an average of just under $80,000 a year.

Apparently Pratt hasn’t heard that manufacturing is dead in Maine …! (Nor has IDEXX, Bath Iron Works, Cianbro and any other number of successful companies).

That headline, BTW, is from the old Pratt slogan. Say it five times fast – if you can.