April 30, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 2:12 pm

CT's Pratt adding 400 workers in Maine

East Hartford jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney is planning to boost its North Berwick, Maine, work force to 1,700 over the next four years in order to meet demand for engines for fighter and commercial planes, The Portland Press Herald reports.

Pratt said it will hire 400 more people to work on F-135 engines, which are used in the military's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter plane, the paper reports online.

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.

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