Amid bankruptcy, Colt to fill more than a dozen positions

Roughly 60 days into bankruptcy proceedings, Colt announced Thursday that it has more than a dozen positions that need filling.

The hiring push is part of the iconic gun maker’s plan to rebuild once it wipes out $350 million of debt owed to creditors, chiefly bondholders.

Critics of the Connecticut brand say Colt has grossly neglected research and development of new products and instead focused on government contracts, but the company wants to change that, said Max Zeigler, a company spokesman, to Guns.com.

“We’re gearing up to get more aggressive in the consumer market,” Zeigler said, and added that the vast number of jobs available were lost after Colt Defense merged with Colt Holding Corp. in 2013.

Stephen Welford, Colt’s director of human resources, said the company offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package. However, the jobs available non-union positions — that’s something reserved for factory positions — and fall into areas including engineering, supervisory, procurement, and sales.

“We’re seeking those key individuals who will help us nurture and accelerate that growth,” he said.

Despite the company’s enthusiastic plan to hit the ground running following bankruptcy, the company has raised concerns with the short term.

In recent filings with a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, the company expressed concerns that it may run out of funds necessary to operate through mid-September if it is unable to sell off assets or find cash. Colt has roughly 800 employees in the U.S. and Canada, with about 610 in West Hartford.

The hiring push comes days after Colt executives requested the court to approve bonus packages for themselves, The Hartford Courant reported.

All the bonuses combined would total $2.53 million and the company would have to payout if an executive were fired, resigned because of lower pay under future owners, or moved to a different location — but only if the company reaches a certain profit level between now and January.