WARSAW, Poland – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Poland recently named Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation as “Investor of the Year” for 2008, for Sikorsky’s efforts in the acquisition and integration of the PZL Mielec factory into a modernized, efficient facility.
The American Chamber’s Investor of the Year Award is given to a chamber member that has achieved impressive growth, visibility, and a significant breakthrough in the Polish market, demonstrating its long-term commitment and its contribution to the labor market while adhering to the highest standards of business ethics. The award was announced at the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting held in December 2008 at the Warsaw Hilton Hotel.
“The investment in PZL Mielec serves as yet another example of the dedication by Sikorsky and our parent company, United Technologies Corporation, to the people of Poland,” said Sikorsky President Jeffrey P. Pino. “With nearly 8,000 employees combined, United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney, and Sikorsky Aircraft are Poland’s largest aviation industry employers. These combined strategic investments of money, know-how and state-of-the-art technologies will significantly add to Poland’s proud aviation tradition among European and global companies.”
Since the acquisition of PZL Mielec on March 16, 2007, Sikorsky has delivered on each of the broad commitments made during the negotiations. Sikorsky has invested millions of dollars in fixed assets, environmental remediation, Human Resources training, and transfer of technical expertise. In addition, Sikorsky has initiated a broad social package for PZL Mielec employees.
During this time, employment at PZL Mielec has increased by 11 percent, from an initial level of 1,471 employees to 1,640 full-time personnel. Additional employees are expected to be hired in the next 12 months, and groundbreaking is scheduled soon for a new European Union funded vocational training facility to educate more than 200 students per year for PZL Mielec.
“PZL Mielec is a key component of Sikorsky’s strategic plans for Europe,” Pino continued. “As production plans move forward for the S-70i BLACK HAWK™ helicopter to be built there, we have big plans for Polish production and export of aircraft and components as well. Among those plans are the production of cabins and other major assemblies of the UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopter, production and export of the PZL Mielec M28, aircraft and final assembly and testing of the S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopter.”
Production of highly advanced and combat-proven BLACK HAWK helicopters and cabins in PZL Mielec will have tremendous effects on numerous other privately and publicly held Polish aviation entities. In the short term, economic and export benefits will accrue from parts sourcing, increased labor, sales to the U.S. Armed Forces, and technology transfer. In the long-term, Sikorsky is evaluating other Polish firms and institutes that will serve as completion centers, sustainment and parts-management centers, and certification institutes.