GE Chooses Louisville to Produce Next-Gen Laundry Appliances
Dec 15, 2009
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More jobs – including engineering jobs – are coming to GE's historic Appliance Park manufacturing campus in Louisville, KY, U.S. GE’s Consumer & Industrial division plans to manufacture high-end, energy efficient, front-load washers and dryers in Appliance Park starting in 2012.
GE plans an investment of more than $80 million in the new program. New laundry appliance production operations, along with plans to in-source manufacture of appliance components and significantly increase the number of engineers at the facility, would result in the creation of more than 430 new jobs in Louisville.
The announcement follows on the heels of the news that GE will begin production of its new hybrid water heater at Appliance Park. The two new production announcements include a total of 830 new jobs, building on GE’s initiative of “American Renewal” fueled by a reinvigorated U.S. manufacturing sector.
GE’s efficiency technology will enable the Kentucky-made laundry products to meet proposed 2014 Energy Star standards. Smart Grid technology will enable the appliances to communicate with utility smart meters to help reduce energy demand during peak usage times, with features that will empower consumers to control their energy consumption and save money in areas where time-of-use pricing is in effect.
The washing machine would go into production in the third quarter of 2012 and the new dryer in the third quarter of 2013. The line will offer steam technology, specialty fabric cycles, advanced vibration-reduction technology and washer-dryer communication.
“These new highly featured, energy-efficient laundry products will be a terrific addition to our portfolio and significantly enhance our leadership position in front-load laundry,” said GE Consumer & Industrial President and CEO Jim Campbell. “We are making big investments in new products and in energy-efficient technologies that are creating American jobs.”
GE has been working with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Metro Louisville government on a package of economic development incentives to encourage expansion of Appliance Park operations and increase employment and economic development opportunities in the region.
Green Technology Manufacturing Comes to Kentucky
The state preliminarily approved GE for an incentive package for the hybrid water heater project in May 2009. With the expansion of the original proposal to include production of laundry products and appliance component manufacture, the Cabinet for Economic Development has committed to seek approval of an amended package that will increase the incentives to a total package of $21.5 million. In addition, Metro Louisville provided incentives in the amount of $2.5 million and today introduced an ordinance before the Metro Council to amend the funding mechanism to increase the city’s incentives.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said, “Over the last several years GE management, and its union leaders, have made tremendous strides in revitalizing its manufacturing presence at Appliance Park. So, when the management reached out earlier this year for help to bring the new hybrid water heater to Appliance Park, I immediately started to work alongside Mayor Abramson to develop competitive incentives to encourage new growth and jobs. With today's announcement, over a period of less than six months, GE plans to invest more than $150 million to bring three major product lines to Louisville that, together, will expand their workforce by more than 800 jobs and create millions of dollars in positive economic impact for our state. These are good-paying jobs in the growing ‘green technology’ sector, and we are elated that GE is investing in these innovations right here in Kentucky.”
“This new washer and dryer line not only brings new jobs to Louisville, it brings green and energy-efficient appliances to our city,” Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said. “The future of GE in Louisville, which once was in jeopardy, is now very bright.”
Currently, 90% of GE’s front-load washers dryers are manufactured outside the U.S.
“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. “We are grateful to the state and the city for their continued support in bringing these new products and jobs to Appliance Park,” said Campbell.
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