Pratt & Whitney Division Abandons California

Pratt & Whitney Division Abandons California

The California economy got another punch in the nose as aerospace contractor Pratt & Whitneyannounced last week that their AeroPower facility in San Diego will relocate all remaining operations to existing facilities to Florida, Georgia, Texas and Canada.  

Last year, the company announced layoffs of more than 800 employees and said that another 575 had agreed to retire with voluntary buyouts.  The latest announcement will cost the city 530 high paying jobs as AeroPower permanently closes all its facilities.  A spokesman for Governor Brown’s Go-Biz, Office of Business and Economic Development, declined to comment on Pratt & Whitney’s latest departure.

Pratt & Whitney’s AeroPower division makes portable military and commercial auxiliary power units used mainly to provide electricity and air conditioning to aircraft on the ground, and to start a plane’s main engines for airplanes. AeroPower’s military business will move to Pratt & Whitney’s Military Engines organization and the commercial side will go to Pratt & Whitney Canada. Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. subsidiary, employs about 32,000 workers worldwide, with about 15,000 in the United States.

According to a statement by Pratt & Whitney spokesman Ray Hernandez, “This decision, while a difficult one to make, is necessary to maintain our competitiveness in the market, further leverage Pratt & Whitney’s network and best position the company for the future.” He said that Pratt & Whitney has been dealing with fallout from spending cuts as the U.S. military is preparing to exit Iraq and Afghanistan. The firm said they were also hit with uncertainty in the commercial jet engine spare parts business. 

When Hernandez was asked if Pratt & Whitney had applied for “California Competes” tax credit supposedly designed by Governor Brown as a state incentives to try to keep companies from relocating, he answered “no.” A Sacramento spokesman for Go-Biz declined to comment on Pratt & Whitney’s announcement.

The permanent loss of almost 2,000 Pratt & Whitney aerospace jobs follows Toyota Motor Corp. announcing last month they were moving their U.S. headquarters from the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance to Plano, Texas, at a cost of about 3,000 jobs. But with California getting tagged for the third year in a row as the worst state in America to do business by Chief’s, expect more big companies to be abandoning California.     


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