230 new jobs coming to Pratt & Whitney in Palm Beach County

Changing economic picture locally, nationally

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - A promising announcement was made from aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney in central Palm Beach County on Thursday. 230 new jobs are going to be created over the next several months. The additions could have a positive ripple effect. All this, as economic uncertainty looms in Washington, D.C.

It was prime rib night at Dee-Stefano's Italian Restaurant in Indiantown. The staff is always hard at work here and also behind the scenes, catering events on the side. 

"Everything from a backyard party all the way up to a full-fledged wedding," said Bill Lupia, who has been restaurant manager for six and a half years. Some of those years, he says, have been better than others.  "Last couple years, I've seen business has been dropping because of the economy," he said.

On Thursday, some potentially positive news came from just a few miles down the Beeline Highway, as aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney announced its expansion.  An estimated 230 new jobs are now on their way to the area.

A very different economic outlook is playing out in our nation's capital, as all attention focuses on the 'fiscal cliff', the more than $500 billion in tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect after January 1.

Florida Governor Rick Scott was on hand at the Pratt & Whitney event. "In Washington, what they ought to be doing, everything they ought to be focused on is how are they going to get more jobs in America," he said.

Pratt & Whitney has relied on contracts for U.S. military aviation equipment in the past. As the 'fiscal cliff' draws near, the Governor says it is up to leaders in Washington to keep potential cuts at the federal level from hampering economic progress on the local level. 

"Just doing a dramatic cut in defense doesn't make sense, especially when the biggest thing the federal government should be doing is focusing on freedom and defending our country," said Scott.

If the 'fiscal cliff' is not avoided, it could mean higher taxes for nearly every taxpayer and many businesses, including Dee-Stefano's. So, Bill Lupia says he will be watching his wait staff, his wallet,  and Washington very closely.  "They're fighting over it right now," he said.  "I just hope our leaders can do something better this time."

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