A Pittsfield manufacturing plant that announced about a year ago it will close this spring is decreasing activity as it nears the shutdown, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

Meanwhile, many of the 300 people who were employed at UTC Fire & Security, a manufacturer of fire safety and security products, are continuing to look for work, according to Town Manager Kathryn Ruth.

“Some of the employees have left and others have been given their notice, but the plant is still in operation at this point,” Ruth said Thursday. “At this point, we don’t know if it will be March 1 or after, but they are winding down.”

UTC is owned by United Technologies Corp., a Hartford, Conn.-based conglomerate with interests in building technologies as well as aircraft engines, helicopter manufacturing, aerospace and defense products.

In March last year, UTC announced it will shut down the Pittsfield location by March 1, citing a desire to consolidate operations. The company indicated Thursday that work will continue in Pittsfield for a few weeks beyond that date but would not specify a closing date.

“The facility is in the process of ramping down activity as it transitions manufacturing to existing factories,” said Ashley Barrie, manager for external communications at parent company UTC Building & Industrial Systems, in an email Thursday. “All manufacturing activities are expected to conclude in late spring with the building becoming available for a prospective buyer shortly thereafter.”


Barrie would not say whether the company is sticking with the March 1 shutdown schedule or exactly how many employees still remain at the factory, which produced fire and home security devices such as smoke alarms and home intruder detection devices.

“We are continuing to work closely with our employees and the local transition team to ensure the smoothest transition possible during this time,” she said in the email. “As employees have expressed interest in transferring to available positions within the organization, we have worked closely with them to try to do so.”

At the time the shutdown was announced, company officials said that up to 100 employees might be able to transfer to a plant in Lincolntown, N.C. The company is based in Farmington, Conn., and has offices around the world. Ruth said she knew of fewer than five employees who are relocating to North Carolina.

On Wednesday the town hosted a job fair with more than 45 prospective employers. More than 200 people attended it.

“It was a wonderful event. It wasn’t just for employees of UTC, which was the reason we set it up, but for the entire region,” Ruth said.

About 25 percent of the employees at UTC were Pittsfield residents, while the other 75 percent came from communities from Augusta to Bangor, she said. Despite being the second-largest employer, the plant made up only about 3 percent of the town’s property tax base, Ruth said.


“We’re very diversified. Obviously it’s worrisome, but we’ve tried to be very diversified with a lot of major employers so we would not end up in the situation that’s happening in a lot of the mill towns,” Ruth said. “We are concerned though, because we are a manufacturing community and we like to have a lot of manufacturing options. We still have several that are large employers here, but we’re looking forward to when the building can be used by another employer.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368


Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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