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March 14, 2013

S. Windsor fuel cell maker reduces workforce 39 percent

HBJ File Photo Since acquiring UTC Power in February, ClearEdge reduced its national workforce 39 percent, all on Thursday.

Fuel cell manufacturer ClearEdge Power on Thursday reduced its national workforce 39 percent, including a heavy layoffs of the former UTC Power workforce in South Windsor, which the company acquired in February.

The layoffs were a direct result of ClearEdge's purchase of UTC Power, said ClearEdge spokeswoman Jennifer Sager.

"This is based on the evaluation of our business after the acquisition to best position the company for future growth and our customers," Sager said.

The company wouldn't disclose how many employees remained in South Windsor or exactly how the layoffs impacted that one facility, although Sager said the reductions did Connecticut hardest.

The layoffs impacted all levels of the company's operations and all four locations in South Windsor; Sunnyvale, Calif.; Irvine, Calif.; and Hillsboro, Ore.

The private company did not disclose its new number of employees. The layoffs did impact some union workers, although it did not impact the South Windsor facility's agreement with the International Association of Machinists Local 1746, running through 2015.

ClearEdge still plans to maintain operations in Connecticut and does not have plans for future layoffs, Sager said.

"We want operations on both coasts," Sager said.

ClearEdge purchased UTC Power for an undisclosed sum in February, nearly a year after Hartford conglomerate United Technologies Corp. put its South Windsor subsidiary up for sale. The acquisition expanded ClearEdge's reach into the fuel cell market, including residential and small business units, industrial and power grid units, and a transportation division.

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