Article 43


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

General Electric Reinvests In America


“I believe that a popular 30-year notion that the U.S. can evolve from being a technology and manufacturing leader to a service leader is just wrong. Real engineering was traded for financial engineering. In the end, our businesses, our government, and many local leaders lost sight of what makes a nation great. A passion for innovation.”
- Jeffrey Immelt, GE CEO, April 2009

Lou Dobbs Tonight
August 10, 2009

DOBBS: After years of the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable maintaining an absolute stranglehold on business leadership in this country, one CEO is taking a leadership role and assuring that American jobs will be moving from cheap overseas labor markets back to this country. General Electric creating hundreds of new jobs in this country and GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt (ph) says it is time the United States return to its manufacturing roots. Brooke Baldwin has our report.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More jobs like these are coming home to America. In Louisville, Kentucky, 420 employees will build energy efficient water heaters. In Sconectity (ph), New York, 350 workers will make the next generation of locomotive batteries. It is all part of General Electric’s push to rebuild America’s manufacturing base.

JEFFREY IMMELT, CHMN. AND CEO, GENERAL ELECTRIC: We very much believe that the U.S. has to be an export-oriented country.

BALDWIN: GE’s chief executive just outside of Detroit in June announcing the company’s plan to build a $100 million, 1,110 employee research center there. Even though GE still has business interest overseas, Immelt issued a U.S. based corporate call to arms.


“We should set a national goal to create high value-added jobs and have manufacturing jobs be no less than 20 percent of total employment, about twice what it is today. And we should commit ourselves to compete and win with American exports.”

Since the recession began, the U.S. has hemorrhaged two million manufacturing jobs and 5.5 million in the last decade. In Louisville’s Appliance Park, workers will be building heaters, heaters currently made in China.

JAMES CAMPBELL, CEO, GE CONSUMER AND INDUSTRIAL: Clearly there has been a trend over the last few years to outsource many products as we know. But if you really take a hard look at your operations, if it is a union facility, work closely with the union, or the workers, I think you’ll find when everybody works together as a team, you really can make it happen.

BALDWIN: It is a modest move considering this plant once employed 23,000. But economist Peter Morici at the University of Maryland says it is a start.

PROF. PETER MORICI, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: If you can bring hot water heaters back to America, you certainly can make cars, trucks, boats, planes, anything else here.


BALDWIN: Want to let you know we did reach out to the Business Roundtable and to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to get their take on the direction of manufacturing jobs here in this country, they did not return our phone calls. On the other hand, the National Association of U.S. Manufacturers says GE’s move is a good thing and hopefully a sign of more American jobs to come. Lou?


Posted by Elvis on 08/11/09 •
Section American Solidarity
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