The changes underway at GE’s Louisville, Kentucky manufacturing plant continue to draw national attention for the way in which investing in a downturn can not only make good business sense, but have a ripple effect of good news on the jobs front. Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden visited GE’s Appliance Park to see firsthand the impact of GE’s $600 million investment in the facility — which is expanding production with three new energy efficient product lines. Biden told the GE employees assembled in the factory: “I don’t see where it’s written anywhere that we can’t be the manufacturing leader of the world again… I don’t see where it’s written that our nation’s, or Kentucky’s, best days are behind us.” As Jim Campbell, President and CEO of GE Appliances and Lighting, says in the video below, “This investment for this business is unprecedented.”
GE Appliances & Lighting plans to add some 830 jobs at the Appliance Park campus in Louisville through 2013, thanks to new products. Production of new hybrid electric water heaters is to begin in 2011, followed by a new line of “smart” washing machines in 2012 and matching smart dryers the following year.
|Powering out of the recession: GE’s $600 million investment was aided by $24.8 million in tax credits that GE received as part of the economic recovery act to retrofit and retool the Louisville facility.|
|From reset to renew: Vice President Biden was joined on stage by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Congressman John Yarmuth, assembly line worker Nechelle Thomas, and GE Appliances & Lighting President and CEO Jim Campbell.|
|First look: While at the plant, Biden was given a tour of the retooled dishwasher line.|
GE’s new GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater is the first completely new product line to be made at the factory in more than 50 years, and it’s being developed using the Shingijutsu philosophy, or Lean production system. That approach reinvents the entire manufacturing process to maximize efficiency, beginning with how the factory itself is designed.
As Jim Campbell said when the smart washer and dryer decision was announced earlier this year: “We are making big investments in new products and in energy-efficient technologies that are creating American jobs. We can’t make these products in the U.S. competitively without everyone coming to the table — unions, the Company, employees, local/state/federal officials.”
Learn more in these GE Reports stories:
* “Re-inventing factories: The Kaizen/‘moonshine’ method”
* “Building smart washers/dryers in KY to create 430 jobs”
* “GE’s new KY deal marks a great time to be in hot water”
* “American Renewal: Immelt addresses Detroit Econ Club”