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GE Appliances Eyes Manufacturing Plant in Louisville

02/14/2012
GE Appliances will locate its energy-efficient GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater manufacturing plant at Appliance Park in Louisville, Ky, revitalizing the industrial park and providing hundreds of jobs for the region.

GE's decided to spend $38 million on redesigning a vacant manufacturing plant and making improvements to the industrial park after receiving upwards of $17 million in state and local design and build incentives.

Charles "Chip" Blankenship, GE Appliances President and CEO, said the plant is a first step "to reverse decades of outsourcing by bringing new, industry-leading products and jobs back to the U.S. Lean manufacturing and a more competitive wage structure for new employees led to the selection of Louisville as the production site for the new water heater instead of China, where an earlier version of the product was made," he explained.

The GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater combines energy-saving heat-pump technology with traditional electric heating elements. State and local tax credits and utility rebates may be available in some areas, making its energy-efficient water heater more attractive to consumers.

The GeoSpring has the distinction of being the first GE Appliances product designed and built using the company's "The Lean process, which uses a cross-functional team of employees, including hourly manufacturing workers, to design the product and the manufacturing process," he explained.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said "We developed an aggressive plan to not only research and develop new kinds of energy production, but to attract businesses and projects that are similarly committed to cleaner, greener energy applications."

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