To All UTC sponsored teams

Fellow UTC teams.
What does your sponsorship look like this year with all the layoffs and cut-backs at United Technologies?
I don’t need numbers but I’m just curious if your sponsorship is going to be less, the same or more this year.
Before the cut-backs we had a verbal commitment that our sponsorship would stay the same. But now…?
Please, just UTC teams respond. Thanks.

Wayne Doenges

UTC gave Georgia Tech a substancial amount last year, part of which they tagged for the RoboJackets to help in sponsoring a FIRST team (Team 608). This year they have promised a smaller amount of about 2/3 what they gave last year. This year the money will go to help team 832. Team 608 has decided to go off on their own without the support of the Georgia Tech RoboJackets. Hopefully we will be able to acquire the remaining moneys from other sources. We are already looking at having new sponsors but we have not heard of any promised amounts of money. We’ll see, hopefully very soon.

The funding UTC sponsored teams receive does not actually come from individual divisions or locations of UTC (with one exception). All the funding for the numerous UTC sponsored teams actually comes from UTC Corporate. As you can probably imaging UTC corporate is not prone to the same types of cut backs as the individual divisions.
UTC has made a commitment to FIRST through their sponsorship of the New England regional. Can you imaging a UTC sponsored regional without UTC teams – what an embarrassment that would be. Can you imagine Dean’s response if he found out UTC was cutting funding.
But back to the original question, UTC Corporate provides a chunk of funding to each team a division sponsors. Obviously the divisions may kick in some additional monies but I would tend to doubt it. So basically, your concerns about UTC changing its commitment is groundless.
You should expect the same level of financial commitment from your UTC Sponsors. However, the manpower support may change based on the ever change human resources of each local sponsor

Team 535 is sponsored by UT Electronic Controls (a Carrier division sub) in Huntington Indiana and last year received no funding from UTC corporate. I was informed that at least some other UTC teams are also locally funded. I have been in contact with the FIRST UTC Moderator, but at this time I am not aware of any corporate funding available. If there is a better way to approach finding the correct corporate contacts I would really appreciate any help. Because of the issue stated by Wayne, we are looking at tough times this year.

The earlier post about UTC Corporate funding individual teams is incorrect.

UTC Corporate provides funding and support for the UTC New England regional, but not individual teams.

Each division provides the registration fees/additional funds for their respective teams, so it is up to the divisions what level of financial support and manpower they are able to provide.

Kirsten

Our funding was cut back by our sponser UTC/Pratt&Whitney this year. It has been cut back bit by bit over the last three years. The Pratt plant here layed off most of it’s people, either because they didn’t want to move to CT or just couldn’t keep them on staff. I guess we’re just used to getting funds cut back and adjust accordingly.

My understanding of the situation is that all the UTC teams have cut their teams back about the same amount (mandated???).

Not positive on my information…this is only my understanding.

-Mancuso

I understand that UTC teams are having funding cut from their seperate companies. I would like to know why, because these companies certainly have the money. I’ve heard of some branches buying thousands of dollars worth of toys to give away at a Christmas party that doesn’t even exist. Some spend thousands of dollars to send an employee across the country to make sure a supplier gets a part shipped on time when they should try harder at less expensive solutions, like communication technology. Oh, and that’s another thing, money being wasted on more electronics that will be absolete in two years. Don’t you think that these are genuine wastes of money? Another thing, though some companies are going through layoffs, they just may be getting rid of employees who do absolutely nothing, therefore saving even more money. It could be that UTC is mandating fund cutting so their teams don’t gain an unfair advantage over other, less funded teams. But then money can only take those teams so far. If UTC teams do have extreme success, it’s because those teams have been around for a while and has more experience. I think UTC teams should have their funding kept at the same level it has been when they started (inflation considered), and let the advisors get their mind on more important things regarding the team besides funding. Remember, FIRST is about high school kids, not money. Kids should not be overwhelmed with financial problems if they don’t need to be, everybody should be focused on the learning environment and have fun.

I do not know where you get your information, but the financial situation within Carrier is not an imagined one. UTC has faced several tough quaters and has been forced to cut costs across the board. I am not familiar with the cases of waste you refer to, but doubt they are reliable stories as I know that strict cost saving rules have been put into effect limiting spending in many different areas, travel being a major one. As to the layoffs only removing dead weight from the company, I know that you are absolutely wrong in this assertion. Carrier Electronics was forced to make cuts that I know the managers did not want to make and that I know negatively impacted the ability for some areas to perform. The economic downturn is a reality and companies have to take some drastic steps to remain on top. UTC helps out a lot in their support and I do not think it is fair to go off on them as if they are just being cruel to FIRST. You need to back up your allegations rather than just spew rubbish. If it were not for UTC I know that team 535 would not exist or perform to the level that it does. I may have gotten a little out of my depth, but I do not believe what I have written is innaccurate. If it is or if there is something I have left out, perhaps Al can provide some more insight.