The election season is gathering steam and false allegations that GE is outsourcing American jobs have again hit the blogosphere. Here are the facts: Since 2009, GE has announced plans to create more than 15,500 American jobs and is building 15 new factories in the U.S. Just in 2011, GE added 10,000 new jobs. These high-value manufacturing jobs will produce jet engines, turbines, appliances and other goods.
GE, its employees, and business partners add $166 billion per year to the U.S. economy.
Just last week, GE opened a new $170 million factory in Schenectady, New York, that will produce next-generation industrial batteries and employ 450 workers. The business was born from a single idea, like a Silicon Valley start-up, inside GE Global Research labs in nearby Niskayuna.
In Texas, GE Energy’s global order book is helping local manufacturing firms grow their business. Listen to Randy Bentley, vice president at Numerical Precision Inc., a machining business based in Crosby, Texas. Four years ago, as much of the global economy fell into a rut, but Bentley added a second shift. “We’ve been running two 12-hour shifts close to five years now with no slowdown in sight,” he says. GE is his biggest customer.
In Michigan, Grand Rapids-based Progressive Surface has supplied GE Aviation with high-tech “special process” machines that make jet engine parts tougher and blades more durable. “The company really took off in the 80’s, when we started to do aerospace work,” says Jim Whalen, Progressive’s vice president of sales and marketing. “That’s when GE became a customer.” Progressive has since doubled the number of workers from 50 to 105 fabricators, machinists, electricians, and engineers, and grew annual revenues to $35 million.
In March, GE opened a new $38 million manufacturing plant in Louisville. Workers at the factory make high-tech GeoSpring hybrid water heaters whose production GE repatriated from China. “Being able to make a new thing in the U.S., that’s a big morale booster,” says process operator Patti Beyl. “It gives me a lot of pride. Three years ago we didn’t even know if we we’re going to be here.” The plant, which employs 600 workers, is part of a $1 billion drive to manufacture new appliances in the U.S. and create 1,300 jobs.
GE is also investing $1 billion in a software center of excellence in California, creating 300 jobs.
These are just a few recent examples. There is simply no question about GE’s key role in the American economy. A recent study by the independent research firm TrippUmbach found that for every 10 direct GE jobs, GE supports additional 52 jobs in the U.S. Added up, GE is indirectly supporting one out of every 208 jobs in the U.S. With demand for GE products rising around the world, GE’s global customer base makes it possible to create jobs in the U.S. and help grow domestic businesses Bentley’s Numerical Precision.
The study also found that GE, its employees, and business partners add $166 billion per year to the U.S. economy.
But GE’s reach goes deeper than economic data. The study estimated that GE employees also gave $74 million to charitable groups. In total, the GE family donated over $259 million and workers volunteered 325,000 hours of their time.