With consumers and businesses wanting more ways to save energy — and lighting legislation that takes effect nationally in 2012 and in California this year — the lighting industry is undergoing a transition of a magnitude not unlike that of Thomas Edison’s era of gas lamps to electric light bulbs. The small town of Bucyrus, Ohio is an example of how that change is playing out on the manufacturing front, with cooperation between GE and the union at the plant, the IUE-CWA, helping to make the new jobs possible.
As we described in our recent story, a more than $60 million investment has expanded the GE lighting factory there, which will add 130 new jobs, double the plant’s workforce and designate it a GE Global Linear Fluorescent Lighting Center of Excellence. In the video below, the Bucyrus team explains how the global lighting transition is happening right on their factory floor.
The savings from the Bucyrus bulbs can have a big environmental impact. If a large, high-rise office building switched out 1,500 3-lamp fixtures from standard fluorescent light bulbs to the Watt-Miser bulbs made at the plant, that building could avoid 24 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
The Ohio investment follows a string of recent manufacturing investments by GE. For example, Kentucky is gaining over one thousand new jobs through 2014 as part of GE’s more than $1 billion investment in appliance manufacturing. New jobs are being created in information technology in Michigan, and Aviation jobs are being added in places such as Maryland, Mississippi and Michigan, just to name a few. (See all of our recent jobs stories on GE Reports.)
As GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a speech at the Detroit Economic Club: “Many bought into the idea that America could go from a technology-based, export-oriented powerhouse to a services-led, consumption-based economy — and somehow still expect to prosper. That idea was flat wrong.”
* Read the announcement about the Bucyrus plant