The small town of Bucyrus, Ohio was in the spotlight on Friday when GE Lighting gathered with local officials to celebrate a more than $60 million investment to expand the town’s lighting factory, a move that will add 130 new jobs, double the plant’s workforce and designate it a GE Center of Excellence.
The announcement came on the same day that employees at GE Appliance’s Bloomington, Indiana plant learned that the company will be investing $68 million in their facility — which will ensure the long-term future of the factory and retain more than 500 jobs.
The Bloomington investment also has major environmental benefits: the side-by-side refrigerators they make will be redesigned to be more energy efficient and use insulation with a lower carbon impact. And they’ll be smart-grid compatible so that homeowners can save more on their electric bills as power companies switch to time-of-use pricing plans. They’ll also be produced much more efficiently, using lean manufacturing practices.
|On a roll: In Ohio, the plant will be shipping its energy-efficient linear fluorescent lights across the U.S., Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The Bucyrus-made Watt-Miser fluorescent light bulbs, seen above, are far more efficient than the standard fluorescent light.|
The Ohio and Indiana news follows a wave of manufacturing investments announced by GE over the last 18 months. Among the biggest is GE Appliances’ $600 million investment in Louisville, Kentucky that will add about 830 new jobs tied to GE’s new hybrid water heater and “smart” washers and dryers.
Other manufacturing and technology development investments — which we’ve previously described on GE Reports — include the new Michigan technology center near Detroit; a New York battery plant; GE Energy’s Smart Grid Center of Excellence in Atlanta; a new Aviation research center in Ohio; and Aviation manufacturing for the new GEnx engine. Those investments not only create or retain GE jobs, but they have a ripple effect of job creation and retention among the supply and distribution chain.
|Bright Future: The event in Ohio, seen above, marked an expansion milestone as new production equipment was installed in the factory. If a large, high-rise office building was to switch 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.|
|Manufacturing matters: As GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a speech last year 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 Bucyrus announcement here
* Read “GE’s plan to add 830 jobs to Louisville draws VP Biden” on GE Reports
* Read “Re-inventing factories: The Kaizen/‘moonshine’ method” on GE Reports
* Read “The Bulb Edison Invented is Going Away” on GE Reports
* Read “Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Saves $50,000 Annually with New Lights” on GE Reports