Cabinet for Economic Development
General Electric to build hybrid electric water heater in Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Monday, June 01, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

More than 400 new “green collar” jobs to be created


FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 1, 2009) –  Gov. Steve Beshear today applauded General Electric’s (GE) decision to build its new line of energy-efficient, hybrid electric water heaters in Louisville, creating approximately 420 jobs.   

Gov. Beshear and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development were instrumental in luring the new product line to GE’s Appliance Park in Louisville, working in cooperation with Louisville Metro Government, Greater Louisville Inc., and the IUE-CWA union representing GE’s workers. GE will invest over $69 million in the product design and facility construction necessary to make the hybrid electric heater at Appliance Park, along with several other investments to be made at Appliance Park over the next several years.   

“We understood that GE had other U.S. locations where they could make the new hybrid electric water heater. However, Kentucky has a new priority on energy and pursuing more energy-related jobs for our people. For that reason, we were determined to do everything we could to make certain those manufacturing jobs came to the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear during today’s announcement at Appliance Park 

The new hybrid technology will allow GE to be the first manufacturer to introduce a water heater that will meet the new 2009 DOE ENERGY STAR standard for this new category of hot water heaters. Manufacturing at the Louisville facility is expected to begin by 2011.  The water heaters will be built in China while the Appliance Park manufacturing facility is being built and equipped.  

“We made the decision to build these products in Louisville because of the strong support from our state and local officials and the cooperative spirit of our Union leadership and our employees at Appliance Park,” stated GE Consumer & Industrial President and CEO James Campbell. The efforts of people like Governor Steve Beshear, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, IUE-CWA President Jerry Carney and many others will help rebuild America’s manufacturing base, create jobs and enable innovative, energy-efficient American-made products to be competitive in the marketplace.” 

“This is the beginning of a new era at Appliance Park,” Mayor Jerry Abramson said. “Not only does this announcement bring new green jobs to our city, its sets the stage for GE to grow and expand even further. GE’s decision to bring this new product to Louisville is a testament to the generations of Louisvillians who have worked at Appliance Park.” 

“GE's decision to expand here reflects well on the company's commitment to Louisville and the workforce here," said Joe Reagan, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc., the Metro Chamber of Commerce. “We hope this will lead to future growth opportunities for GE in the region.” 

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved up to $10 million in state incentives through the Kentucky Industrial Development Act.  In addition, GE anticipates applying for up to $150,000 to KEDFA for a sales and use tax refund through the Kentucky Economic Initiative Act to assist with the purchase of eligible research and development related equipment.

The Cabinet for Economic Development’s Bluegrass State Skills Corporation also approved $660,000 in training grants to support the retention of nearly 3,500 jobs at Appliance Park, plus an additional $200,000 to provide training to up to 400 new jobs created by this project.

GE also plans to apply for $3 million in federal energy stimulus money through the state Energy Program Recovery Fund in the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence.