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GE to Build Hybrid Electric Water Heater Factory in Kentucky

General Electric (GE) will invest more than $69 million to build a facility to manufacture energy efficient hybrid water heaters at its Appliance Park campus in Louisville, Kentucky. The company says the project will create approximately 400 new direct jobs and up to 1,600 incremental "green" jobs for suppliers and contract partners. The water heaters are currently being produced in China, but an agreement with GE's local IUE-CWA union lowers labor costs to the level necessary to shift production back to the United States; the company says union members agreed to a wage freeze through the end of the current contract in 2011 and new wage rates for new hires. "We made the decision to build these products in Louisville because of the strong support from our state and local governments and the cooperative spirit of our union leadership and our employees at Appliance Park," says James Campbell, GE Consumer & Industrial president and CEO. "Leadership from Governor Steve Beshear, 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." The state and local governments have offered GE up to $17 million in financial incentives.

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