While the U.S. manufacturing industry expands at a robust clip, GE Appliances, a Haier company, continues to place big bets on—and make major investments in—manufacturing operations in the United States.
So far in 2018, GE Appliances has made a series of investments in the United States totaling $275 million. The company invested $150 million to open four new distribution centers across the United States, which will support 220 new jobs. In May, the company announced a $9.3 million investment and 210 new jobs in Tennessee. In June, GE Appliances announced another $115 million investment to expand its manufacturing facility in Alabama, adding 225 new jobs to the payrolls.
On Monday, GE Appliances unveiled its biggest move yet, announcing an incredible new $200 million investment in its Kentucky dishwasher and laundry manufacturing operations that will support up to 400 new manufacturing jobs and help the company meet increasing consumer demand.
“The changes in rates and favorable tax treatment of investments in machinery and equipment play a big role in our expansion plans,” Kevin Nolan, president and chief executive officer for GE Appliances, said Monday morning in the announcement of the investment.
According to GE Appliances, the $200 million investment will fuel two areas of growth:
- Investment in its laundry production facility, which will increase manufacturing capacity by approximately 20 percent
- Investment in dishwasher production to expand the facility’s production capability by 35 percent
“The investments we are making today continue our mission of creating product and production supersites where we can more efficiently channel our innovation and manufacturing expertise by product line,” said Nolan.
“GE Appliances has long been an exemplary corporate partner for Louisville and the Commonwealth,” Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said. “This iconic company has employed many thousands of Kentuckians for generations, and we are grateful for their most recent investment in the Bluegrass State. As GE Appliances continues to adapt to a changing marketplace, we are confident that they will remain a perfect fit right here in Kentucky—America’s center for engineering and manufacturing excellence.”
Appliance Park, GE Appliance’s headquarters, is a 900-acre facility that’s home to five manufacturing plants, a technology and engineering center, industrial design and the largest warehouse in its distribution network. The company started manufacturing operations there in 1953. The complex generates an annual Kentucky economic impact of $4.6 billion annually and employs more than 6,000 workers.
“The combined impact of operations, employee compensation and today’s announced $200 million investment will result in the creation of an additional 13,500 jobs in the Commonwealth,” GE Appliances said in its statement. Appliance Park is expected to increase its already substantial economic impact by an additional $18 billion.
GE Appliances’ investment comes at an important time for manufacturing workers in the United States. Manufacturers promised that the passage of tax reform that gives manufacturers in the United States a competitive advantage would unlock an unprecedented wave of big investments, new jobs and rising paychecks. Today’s exciting news from GE Appliances confirms that manufacturers are keeping that promise.
At the same time, despite growing opportunities in the manufacturing sector, more than 500,000 jobs remain waiting to be filled because not enough Americans are entering the manufacturing workforce, and too few possess the technical skills that these jobs require.
GE Appliances has been a leading advocate for workforce solutions in Kentucky, establishing a coalition of Louisville manufacturers to create a work-study program at the local technical and community college and working with county school systems to interest students in STEM careers. The National Association of Manufacturers continues to lead on solutions to the workforce crisis through the Manufacturing Institute as well.
Today’s announcement from GE Appliances is the type of news that can continue to improve attitudes about the opportunities in the industry and jumpstart the right partnerships to upskill the next generation of workers with the talents America’s job creators need.
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