LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2012) – Company and local leaders today held a grand opening of GE Appliance’s GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater manufacturing facility at Appliance Park in Louisville. Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson participated in the event.
The $38 million investment in the new product and a revitalized facility is the first realization of commitments GE has made since 2009 to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Louisville and create more than 1,000 new jobs in Kentucky by 2014.
“We made a commitment early in my administration that energy-related development would be a high priority,” Beshear said. “We developed an aggressive plan not only to develop and research new kinds of energy production, but to attract businesses and projects that are similarly committed to cleaner, greener energy applications. GE’s new hybrid water heater is a perfect match for our energy commitment and our strong manufacturing core.”
“GE’s decision to produce the GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater at Appliance Park is a shining example of a movement by the United States to get U.S. multinational companies to bring more of their manufacturing back to America,” Abramson added. “It’s also a testament to the quality of workforce and the business climate in the Commonwealth. We are very excited about GE’s decision and are pleased that we could play a role in the investment of this project.”
The new plant will produce the GeoSpring, a hybrid water heater that combines energy-saving heat-pump technology with traditional electric heating elements used in most conventional water heaters. GE says the GeoSpring will provide the same amount of hot water as a conventional electric water heater at less than half the cost.
The GeoSpring has the distinction of being the first GE Appliances product designed and constructed using “Lean” manufacturing principles. The Lean process uses a cross-functional team of employees to increase the competitiveness of the operation by identifying and removing much of the waste in materials and time that can be found in traditional manufacturing.
“The journey we started in 2009 to get to this day has been an inspirational one,” said GE Appliances President and CEO Charles “Chip” Blankenship. “To reverse decades of outsourcing by bringing new, industry-leading products and jobs back to Appliance Park takes a tremendous amount of cooperation, imagination, courage and plain old hard work by a lot of people. I want to thank our local union, our employees, government, and company officials for having and executing a vision that is transforming our business into an industry-leading, 21st century operation with a bright future.”
“As millions of Americans saw during the GE Super Bowl commercial, Louisville is playing a critical role in bringing manufacturing jobs back to our country,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.
“This is an exciting investment in Louisville by General Electric. Our city will reap the benefits of new ‘green’ jobs, economic growth and development,” said Sen. Denise Harper Angel, of Louisville. “GE’s decision to build this new product here also speaks well of our workforce. I applaud Gov. Beshear for taking the lead to support this industry, their employees and their families.”
“GE has long played a crucial role in Louisville’s past, and this addition further ensures it will be a making a difference long into our future,” said Rep. Tom Burch, of Louisville. “I was proud to work at Appliance Park for 39 years in home laundry, and we were always at the forefront of progress. This project follows the same tradition.”
For more information on GE Appliances, visit www.geappliances.com.