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How Will United Technologies Find 35,000 Workers Over Next 5 Years?

June 8, 2018
"Our continued success will be dependent on a highly-skilled workforce, world-class manufacturing facilities, and workforce education programs that enable employees to improve their skills and remain competitive in an increasingly digital economy," said Gregory J. Hayes, CEO, United Technologies Corp.

On May 23, United Technologies Corp.(UTC) announced that is planning to hire 35,000 people in the U.S.

To put that number in perspective, the company employs 200,000 (across 75 countries). In the U.S. it employs 67,000.

Many of the 35,000 jobs will become available due to retirement and normal turnover, but there were be several thousand new positions as well..

While these jobs will be spread out across the U.S., the company says its greatest needs are in Connecticut, Florida, and Georgia.

The jobs are needed to support the more than $15 billion the company will invest in R&D and capital expenditures over the next five years. UTC said it also plans to spend an additional $75 billion with U.S. suppliers.

Citing the “trends of rapid urbanization, a growing middle class, and the growth of commercial air travel”, UTC will build up its aerospace and commercial building industries sectors. The company’s brands include Otis, Pratt & Whitney, UTC Aerospace Systems, and UTC Climate, Controls & Security.

"Our investments reflect our core belief that, similar to U.S. economic goals, United Technologies' continued success will be dependent on a highly-skilled workforce, world-class manufacturing facilities, and workforce education programs that enable employees to improve their skills and remain competitive in an increasingly digital economy," said Gregory J. Hayes, CEO, UTC, when announcing the new investments.

Half of UTC ’s hiring is expected to be in production and maintenance roles, with the other half consisting of jobs in engineering and technology development roles.

An important part of the hiring process is ensuring that the workforce is diverse.  “United Technologies believes that a diverse workforce produces the best ideas and outcomes for its customers, shareowners and communities around the world,” it said in a release. “Over the last three years, one-third of the company's new hires in the U.S. were people of color. United Technologies is committed to achieving gender parity in our leadership workforce with a near-term goal of women holding at least 30% of senior roles.”

Training Key to Talent Acquisition

To ensure that it finds the talent with the skills necessary to continue the company's growth it currently invests in more than 30 U.S. workforce training programs. These programs include apprenticeships, community college and high school partnerships, digital certificate programs. 

Internal professional development programs are also a key to filling these jobs. UTC's Employee Scholarship Program, which has been around since 1996, has resulted in more than 39,500 degrees earned by employees across 60 countries. The company has invested more than $1.2 billion in this program which is offered to employees at no cost. The average company contribution is valued at $37,000 per participant.

The program is structured as follows:

--UTC pays for tuition, academic fees and books at approved educational institutions.

--The program is available to our global workforce.

-- Employees can obtain a degree in any field, whether or not it is related to their job.

--Partner universities deliver programs at our locations to provide work-life flexibility.

-- Payments are made directly to the educational institution to minimize out-of-pocket costs.

-- Eligible employees can receive up to three hours of paid time off to study per week.

 In addition to internal program UTC advocates for public private partnership. These include a wide range of institutions.

 “We need to start celebrating the fact that not everybody needs a four-year college degree,” Hayes said at the Concordia Annual Summit held Sept. 26, 107.  He said that he's having trouble finding employees "because they don’t have the skills I need to assemble jet engines, to install elevators, to make air conditioners. So we’re taking it upon ourselves to train them...the fact is we need people who know how to use their hands to do mechanical things."

Hays takes a long-terv view of the skills gap. "Ultimately, learning is a continuous process because the way we do things today will change over time.You have to give [people] the opportunity to learn skills and to improve those skills over time, every single year – because things will change rapidly,” Hayes said. 

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