Pratt & Whitney is planning to boost its North Berwick work force to 1,700 over the next four years in order to meet demand for engines for fighter and commercial planes.
The East Hartford, Conn.-based company said it will hire 400 more people to work on F-135 engines, which are used in the military's F-35 Joint Striker Fighter plane, according to the Portland Press Herald. Currently, 100 people work on those engines. Pratt & Whitney has a contract to build 132 of those engines, of which 50 have been delivered to the military so far. The company also plans to hire more workers for work on commercial aircraft, bringing the plant's staffing to pre-recession levels, according to the paper. Pratt & Whitney has approximately 36,000 employees companywide.
The company's work looked to be in jeopardy last year as federal lawmakers debated whether to fund production of a rival engine, but that plan was ultimately nixed.