One of the largest employers in Wichita Falls is taking on a new project.
On Tuesday, May 5th, Pratt and Whitney announced the launch of the technology enhancement program. Officials said it will be beneficial for the city of Wichita Falls.
"This is very important for the future of Wichita Falls," Dick Bundy, President, Wichita Falls 4A Economic Development Co. Board said.
With technology advancing everyday it is important for the company to stay on top of it.
"If you're not maintaining and growing and developing your capability, and becoming efficient, over time you become less relevant," John Di Bert, Vice President of Pratt and Whitney Canada.
The $3-million project will provide the facility with better equipment to work with, making it a center of excellence.
"First and foremost, this will make this facility even more productive and efficient and that's very important," Di Bert said.
This is specifically for the repair components of the aerospace technology, since the purpose of the facility is to remanufacture and refurbish parts.
With the new technology, the employees will have to be brought up to speed on how it works. However, the technology is not the reason why this project was launched.
"What we're interested in is jobs," Bundy said.
The technology company promises to keep 120 jobs with this new project, but no new jobs will be added. However, there will be more hands on deck since the company is teaming up with Midwestern State University.
"You're starting the beginning of something that has the ability to be developed and grown upon," Di Bert said.
Officials are not sure how the students in the engineering program at MSU will be incorporated, but it could involve senior projects and internships. This is something I Bert said the company is familiar with.
"We have a lot of experience doing that back in Montreal as well as Toronto and our Canadian facilities where we do a lot of RND," he said, "We do a great partnering with the universities and we think we can bring this expertise here as well."
Officials explained it will take some time to get the ball rolling on the project, but they think everything will be in place in a year's time.
Part of the project will be paid for by Pratt and Whitney. Most of it, $1.8-million, will be paid for by the city. The funds were approved by city council members.