Mayor on UTEC Job Situation: 'Nothing Has Changed'

Posted: Updated:
HUNTINGTON -

Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters tells Inside INdiana Business that despite last week's word that hundreds of Carrier Corp. jobs are staying put in Indianapolis, "nothing has changed in what UTEC here in Huntington has told us since February." Carrier and United Technologies Electronic Controls Inc. are both subsidiaries of Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX). Prior to the job-saving agreement championed by President-elect Donald Trump and Vice-President-elect Governor Mike Pence was made public, Fetters expressed hope to our partners at WPTA-TV in Fort Wayne that the decision to cut 700 northeast Indiana jobs could be walked back.

In an interview Tuesday morning with IIB Multimedia Journalist Mary-Rachel Redman, Fetters said city officials continue to work to make sure "Huntington is not forgotten." He says "what we've been doing is the same thing we've been doing since February. Number one: making sure that the folks at UTC, the parent corporation of Carrier and UTEC, understand that we're committed to working in a partnership with them in whatever way possible to retain as many jobs here in Huntington." Fetters says the city has stayed in contact with the company and officials in Indianapolis, Huntington and the corporation. "The reality is, as mayor of Huntington, I just represent about 30 percent of the jobs that impact Grant County, Wabash County, Wells County, Huntington County," Fetters added, "so this has a regional impact here in Huntington."

Fetters told our partners at WPTA-TV last week he was hopeful that Carrier's decision to keep some 800 jobs in Indianapolis "negates a need" for the work at UTEC to head to Mexico. Tuesday, he told Inside INdiana Business "in light of the fact that there is going to be a Carrier presence in Indianapolis, from a mayor's standpoint, I am hopeful that there may be some good still to come here in Huntington. But as we understand it, the 700 jobs originally set to go to Mexico out of Huntington in 2018 are still going to Mexico."

Fetters calls economic development a "full-time job" and says the city has other employers, like Continental Structural Plastics, that are expanding. He says despite the UTEC jobs leaving Huntington, the company is still planning to keep around 100 research and development, engineering, corporate headquarters and product marketing jobs where they are. Fetters says UTEC has been a great corporate citizen for 30 years "and whatever presence they want to maintain here in Huntington, while it probably will be diminished, we're very jealous to keep that right here." He says it will be a lot of hard work to replace the jobs lost, but a combination of 180 additional jobs planned at CSP and another 40 at Ecolab could add to a "collection of corporate citizens who want to come and offset some of those challenges." Fetters says the city will also look to focus on entrepreneurship and growing its own businesses.

Editor's Note: a version of the story that ran in our INside Edge e-newsletter mistakenly referred to Mayor Brooks Fetters as "Bruce" Fetters.

  • Perspectives

    • (photo courtesy of Conexus)

      Getting the Word Out About Manufacturing & Logistics

      As the epicenter of the nation’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries, Indiana has a compelling story to tell about how Hoosier companies make and move the goods people depend on every day. Our goal is to ensure everyone hears these stories – many of which share a common theme focused on cutting-edge technologies that are transforming the way products are made and moved around the world and the people who use them. Conexus Indiana launched an...

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo Mansion May Fall to Wrecking Ball

      A one-time mansion that once hosted dignitaries and politicians while they visited Valparaiso appears to be facing demolition, following years of decline and disrepair.  The stately mansion, known locally as the Brown home, maybe knocked down and replaced with condominiums, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana. 

    • The Honda Greensburg plant opened in 2008.

      Honda to Invest $4M, Add Jobs at Greensburg Plant

      The American Honda Motor Co. continues to invest in its Greensburg, Indiana plant as it has announced the factory will be producing the company’s first electrified sport utility vehicle in the U.S. The company says it will invest more than $4 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid.  

    • Photo courtesy of Purdue University

      Purdue Offers 'Stranger Things' Replica Tee

      Purdue University has partnered with trademark licensing agent CLC to produce a special-edition replica Purdue shirt that appeared on an episode of Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3.”  The university also teamed up with Venley to accurately replicate the shirt, which will be available at retailers on the West Lafayette campus and online later this month.

    • Timothy Rushenberg

      Electric Co-Op Names VP

      The Indiana Electric Cooperatives has named Timothy Rushenberg vice president of government relations. He most recently served as vice president of the Indiana Energy Association. Rushenberg has also served with the Indiana Manufacturers Association and the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.  

    • Alexa Deaton and Colby Shank

      Higher Ed Commission Promotes Two

      The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has promoted Alexa Deaton to associate commissioner and Chief Financial Officer. She previously served as director of accounting. Also, Colby Shank has been promoted to associate commissioner for student financial aid, a new position for the organization. He most recently served as assistant commissioner for financial and student support services.