LOUISVILLE, Ky. — During a news conference Monday in Louisville, Gov. Matt Bevin joined elected officials and Kevin Nolan, president and chief executive officer of GE Appliances, to announce the appliance manufacturer will create 400 new jobs with a $200 million-plus investment in its laundry and dishwasher production facilities.
“GE Appliances has long been an exemplary corporate partner for Louisville and the commonwealth,” Gov. 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.”
GE Appliances will expand its laundry manufacturing facilities, adding new topload washer and dryer platforms and increasing production capacity for existing models by about 20 percent. As well, the company plans to grow production capacity for its new plastic and stainless steel tub dishwasher models by 35 percent. Work has already begun and is scheduled to be complete at the end of 2019.
“Kentucky has been a great place for GE Appliances to thrive and grow,” Nolan said. “Initiatives such as Gov. Bevin’s programs to promote manufacturing career opportunities and his support of tax reform efforts to help us better manage our costs are important to our business’s ability to compete and create new jobs. We also welcome his voice in support of attracting foreign investment, including from China, and his support of trade policies that help us maintain access to components we need to manufacture here in Kentucky and the US.”
Haier Group Corp., based in Qingdao, China ranks as one of the world’s largest appliance makers. It purchased GE Appliances from General Electric Co. in 2016. With the current announcement complete, Haier will have announced the creation of 1,000-plus jobs in the US and more than $400 million in major US investments across facilities in multiple states this year alone.
Appliance Park in Louisville is GE Appliances’ largest manufacturing facility, with more than 5 million square feet for production of washers, dryers, dishwashers and bottom-freezer refrigerators. The campus is GE Appliances’ headquarters, and includes marketing, sales and support functions. Appliance Park also houses the company’s technology and engineering center, industrial design, distribution center and warehouse operations.
Appliance Park sits on 900 acres in southern Jefferson County and began producing appliances in 1953. With more than 6,000 full-time employees at Appliance Park a nearby call center, GE Appliances ranks as Kentucky’s largest Chinese-owned enterprise and as the commonwealth’s sixth-largest corporate employer overall.
In 2014, GE Appliances became employer partner in the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KY FAME), which brings together employers and local Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges to train the next generation of manufacturing technicians through an apprenticeship-style, earn-and-learn associate degree program.
Haier was founded in 1984 from a single refrigerator factory in Qingdao, China. Globally, the company operates 10 R&D bases, seven industrial parks, 24 manufacturing plants, 24 trading companies and currently employs approximately 73,300.
“Louisville prides itself on its long-standing tradition of manufacturing excellence, and GE Appliances’ latest expansion underscores that our city remains a global leader in manufacturing,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “This tremendous achievement is possible because of the innovation, dedication and teamwork of the working men and women of GE Appliances. Our city applauds GE Appliances on this milestone, and we look forward to their continued commitment to manufacturing the best home appliances in America.”
Sen. Denise Harper Angel, of Louisville, said the local workforce is ready to fill the company’s needs.
“Our community welcomes this $200 million-plus investment by GE Appliances in its laundry and dishwasher production facilities,” Angel said. “We are delighted with the boost to our economy and the much-needed new jobs it will bring. We have a highly skilled and dedicated workforce ready to meet all the needs created by this growth. GE has been a good corporate partner for many years and we look forward to continuing that relationship many years into the future.”
Rep. Tom Burch, of Louisville, said the project has personal significance.
“Having worked for GE for 39 years, I think this is great news for the company and our community,” Burch said. “This investment, and the jobs it brings, will make a tremendous difference for many families, and it symbolizes the type of leadership we are used to seeing from GE. I’m proud the company is taking this step and that the state is helping to make today’s news possible.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) had given General Electric Co. preliminary approval in September 2014 for a performance-based incentive agreement through the Kentucky Jobs Retention Act program. The agreement could provide up to $40 million in tax incentives over 10 years based on a $277 million investment and the retention of 5,263 Kentucky resident, full-time jobs. Last week KEDFA – at GE Appliances’ request – transferred the incentive agreement to Haier and gave the agreement final approval.
For more information on GE Appliances, visit www.GEAppliances.com.
A detailed community profile for Jefferson County can be viewed here.