United Technologies Electronic Controls (UTEC) announced on February 10, 2016, their preliminary plans to move manufacturing operations from Huntington, Indiana, to Monterrey, Mexico. The official number of regional jobs to be effected is preliminary and unofficial, however, the Company has said the Region should prepare for the elimination of potentially of 700 manufacturing jobs beginning next year. The December Unemployment Report reflected an unemployment rate of 4.1% in Huntington County.
UTEC has preliminary plans to retain the research & development, engineering, sales & marketing and corporate functions in Huntington. Early estimates suggest that as many as 100 jobs could remain in Huntington.
"Sixty-five percent of the workforce at UTEC commutes to the Huntington facility from other Counties," said Mark Wickersham, executive director of Huntington County Economic Development Corporation. "This truly is a regional employer," he added. "We're working with the State of Indiana and northeast Indiana regional economic development partners on a multi-faceted response program. First, we simply want to do our best to match workers with existing opportunities in the market. These are very talented people who are very much in demand," Wickersham said.
"Second, we want to identify ways we can help UTEC grow and expand the business unit they are hoping to retain in Huntington. And third, I've asked the State of Indiana to also see if there are things to be done to retain as much of Carrier Corporation in Indianapolis as possible. The truth is, Carrier's announced departure from Indianapolis triggered our situation," Wickersham added.
UTEC has confirmed that the 2016 employment and operations situation will remain unchanged. And the move is "subject to discussions with the local union representatives." The Company is not required to file an official WARN Notice until they anticipate a major layoff within 60 days. UTEC Officials explained the Company is nowhere near that situation in 2016.
Wickersham confirmed he has received calls from several area employers with immediate job openings. Employees looking for new opportunities can contact Northeast Indiana Works for assistance. The contact is Rick Farrant at 260-459-1400 or via email at email@example.com.
Huntington County Economic Development Corporation is aggressively engaged in efforts to recruit and retain job opportunities and will continue to post news about this story as relevant information develops.