Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear, Mayor Abramson Announce GE to Bring a Second New Production Line to Louisvilleā€™s Appliance Park

Press Release Date:  Monday, December 14, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  


New “smart” washer and dryer production to create over 430 new jobs, more than $80 million investment

                                               

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2009) – In his fight to create new jobs for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear today joined Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and company officials at General Electric (GE) to announce the company’s plans to implement high-end, energy-efficient front load washer and dryer manufacturing at the Louisville Appliance Park.  More than 430 new jobs would be created and an investment of over $80 million would be made by GE to bring the new product line to Kentucky. 

“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,” said Gov. Beshear.  “With today's announcement, over a period of less than six months, GE has developed 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.” 

The announcement follows GE’s decision in June to manufacture its new line of energy-efficient, hybrid electric water heaters in Louisville, creating approximately 420 jobs.  GE is 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. Production is expected to begin by 2011.  

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved GE for a significant incentive package for the hybrid water heater project in May 2009.  With the expansion of the original proposal, the Cabinet for Economic Development will recommend an amendment of the incentive package at the January 2010 KEDFA Board meeting that would make this new investment possible. 

“We can’t make these products in the U.S. competitively without everyone coming to the table – unions, the company, employees, local, state and federal officials,” said GE Consumer & Industrial President and CEO Jim Campbell. “We are grateful to the state and the city for their continued support in bringing these new products and jobs to Appliance Park.” 

GE’s innovative efficiency technology will enable the new laundry products to meet the proposed new 2014 Energy Star standards. Pending approval of the amended incentive package, the washing machine will go into production in the third quarter of 2012 and the new dryer in the third quarter of 2013.

 “This new washer line not only brings new jobs to Louisville, it brings a green and energy-efficient appliance to our city,” Mayor Abramson said. “The future of GE in Louisville, which once was in jeopardy, is now very bright.” 

“Today’s announcement firmly establishes both GE and Louisville’s Appliance Park as leaders in energy-efficient technologies," said Joe Reagan, president and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. – the Metro Chamber of Commerce.  "These are the exact kinds of jobs our community is pursuing, as they help the region grow in new-economy sectors, like energy conservation. Forward-thinking developments will allow Louisville to create prosperity now and in the decades to come.” 

GE will give preference for the new jobs at Appliance Park to any current GE employee who loses his or her job due to a plant closing at another GE Kentucky location.  This will provide the chance for alternative employment to GE employees affected by technology changes or the effects of the recession in locations such as Lexington and Owensboro.

Established in 1953, GE Appliance Park has manufactured in excess of 185 million appliances and employed more than 40,000 people in the last 55 years.  Appliance Park is home of global headquarters for GE Consumer & Industrial, housing senior management and staff, customer training facilities, R&D, sales, marketing, global sourcing, distribution and all administrative functions. 

A community profile for Louisville can be viewed at http://thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=091 

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