Investing in future growth is a hallmark of the United Technologies Corporation’s (UTC) ethos, and they believe that their employees are a key element of all of their successes. In fact, beginning in 1996 and continuing to today, the UTC Employee Scholar Program has provided education to its employees at the institute of their choosing, in whatever subject they desired. To date, over 39,000 degrees have been received with over $1bn spent on the program. This program for lifelong learning is just one way that UTC values its employees and invests in their future.
A lot of this corporate culture was initially put into place by UTC’s former CEO, Louis Chenevert. This Connecticut-based company provides the assembly of jet engines and its Sikorsky division has produced more helicopters than any other American company. Formerly of GE, Louis Chenevert joined UTC’s Pratt and Whitney engine division in 1993. During his tenure, Chenevert was responsible for bringing back multiple positions from less expensive countries and had the positions based in the U.S.
As CEO, Chenevert positioned the company with both military and commercial clients as their corporate business cycles usually offset each other, and thus, UTC was able to avoid many boom and bust cycles that affected competitors with clients in only one of the sectors. Chenevert followed his instincts and was able to successfully balance a business approach that utilized both imagination and precision. This adaptive way of handling various situations allowed the company to realize profits during all segments of their product life-cycles and smooth out some of the peaks and valleys usually associated with the aerospace design and engineering industries. Following his retirement, UTC continues to approach its business in much the same way. It will be interesting to track their progress as the innovation continues.