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Bennett Croswell Speaks at Gov. Malloy's Press Briefing

Bennett Croswell Speaks at Gov. Malloy's Press Briefing

EAST HARTFORD, Conn., Thursday, January 31, 2013

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced a major legislative proposal regarding STEM education and the University of Connecticut in an event at the Pratt & Whitney Customer Training Center on Thursday.

Bennett Croswell, president, Military Engines, was among the featured speakers. In his remarks, Croswell discussed UTC's investment in the Employee Scholar Program, and Pratt & Whitney's longstanding relationship with the University of Connecticut.

Full text remarks, as prepared for delivery:

On behalf of the employees of Pratt & Whitney and United Technologies, I'd like to thank you for joining us here today in our world-class training center. As you can see, we are surrounded by some of the world's most sophisticated aerospace technologies, and it's developed right here in our own backyard!

With this as the backdrop, we have been honored to host our local and state elected officials, as well as leaders from the University of Connecticut, for this significant announcement and commitment to STEM education here in Connecticut.

Governor Malloy, thanks very much for visiting Pratt & Whitney today.

I'd also like to thank and recognize:

  • • Lt. Gov. Wyman
  • • DECD Commissioner Smith
  • • Senate President Williams
  • • Speaker Sharkey, and the many other legislators who are here today.

President Herbst and Provost Mun Choi, we're delighted you came.

I'd also like to recognize and thank Larry McHugh, the chairman of the UConn Board of Trustees, and head of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce.

Oz Griebel, CEO of the Metro Hartford Alliance, thank you for joining us as well.

Tom Prete, P&W's vice president of engineering, who earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in mechanical engineering from UConn, is here.

Sam Mehta, president of Sikorsky Military Systems -- and a proud graduate of the UConn Law School, with a dual master's degree in Public Affairs -- made the drive up to be with us today. Thanks, Tom and Sam.

Gov. Malloy and the University of Connecticut are committed to making our state an unrivaled hub of technology know-how and innovation, and today's announcement underscores the state's commitment to STEM education by taking the steps to keep Connecticut competitive and excel in the global economy.

Here at Pratt & Whitney and across United Technologies, we understand the importance of investing in STEM education, and in the development of a highly a skilled, talented, and capable workforce. Our goal is to have the best-educated workforce on the planet, and we back that up through our company-sponsored Employee Scholar Program.

Since 1996, UTC has invested $1 billion to further our employees' formal education, with more than 34,500 degrees being earned by employees in over 50 countries under our Employee Scholar Program. Of that number, we have spent $420M right here in Connecticut, where more than 12,000 degrees have been earned by our CT-based employees, including several hundreds at UConn. And we don't plan to stop -- we currently have more than 250 of our employees enrolled at UConn through the program.

Over the years, UTC and P&W have been strong supporters of the university's research and training programs in business, science and engineering, and we have benefitted from our relationship with UConn in a variety of ways.

  • • Our involvement in the "Engineering Ambassadors" program is aimed at attracting greater numbers of women and minority students into the engineering profession and providing them mentorship to assume leadership roles in their profession.
  • • Pratt & Whitney established a Center of Excellence at the university, allowing the company's engineers and UConn faculty and students to collaborate on the design and development of more efficient gas turbine engines.
  • • A Pratt & Whitney-endowed chair at the UConn School of Engineering leads research projects to help UTC manufacturing operations improve products and processes.
  • • For more than a decade, Pratt & Whitney has sponsored design projects for UConn engineering seniors. Many of UConn's top engineering graduates build deeply rewarding careers here.
  • • P&W, UTC and its business units have long supported undergraduate scholarships and internships, having donated more than $4M in scholarships and fundraising for the University, and the UTC Employee Scholar Program has provided more than $14 million for employees to earn degrees at the school.

In short, I think it is very clear that we value our relationship with the University of Connecticut, and we are looking forward to deepening our relationship with the school in the years to come.

Let me close by saying, while we're delighted that you chose to make this announcement here at Pratt & Whitney, and just across the street from United Technologies Research Center, I speak on behalf of the other businesses in the state, both large and small, who are excited to see the innovations that will come thanks to this renewed focus on STEM education at our state's flagship university.

We know a thing or two about what it takes to design, build, fly, and maintain world-class jet engines. So please believe me when I tell you that as engine experts, we know there is no better engine for the growth of our business here in Connecticut than in investing in the state's future scientists, engineers and innovators. Students will be drawn to Connecticut, and businesses will take root here and thrive thanks to this initiative.

The next Geared Turbofan or next generation military engines may be developed by talented students who benefit from this effort, and we very much look forward to seeing that happen.

Thanks again for being with us here today.