Kentucky: GE Appliances to Add 1000 Plus Jobs

FRANKFORT, KY (STL.News) As Kentucky celebrates Manufacturing Month, one of the state’s largest manufacturers is making major plans for the future.  Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced GE Appliances, a Haier company, will add over 1,000 full-time jobs and invest $450 million over the next two years as the company continues its commitment to the commonwealth with upgrades at Appliance Park in Louisville.

“As GE Appliances grows, Kentucky and our residents stand to benefit.  This substantial investment will better position the company for the years ahead and will create quality job opportunities for Kentuckians,” Gov. Beshear said.  “I want to congratulate the Louisville community on this important investment and thank the leaders at Haier and GE Appliances for their commitment to the commonwealth.”

Leaders at GE Appliances plan to invest in upgrades at Appliance Park across its operations to increase production of clothes washers, install a new assembly line for added flexibility to support the company’s kitchen cleaning business, introduce new refrigerator-freezer models and ramp up refrigerator production.  It also will provide new equipment to support the company’s Plastics Injection Molding Center of Excellence.

“GE Appliances continues to bring manufacturing back to the United States, creating jobs and economic growth,” said Kevin Nolan, president and CEO for GE Appliances.  “We want zero distance between us and the millions of families we serve with our products across America.  I want to thank Gov. Beshear and the entire economic development team for their understanding of the importance of growing and sustaining existing businesses in the commonwealth.”

Over the past five years, GE Appliances invested over $1.3 billion in its U.S. operations, creating more than 3,000 jobs, with the majority in Kentucky.

Appliance Park in Louisville is GE Appliances’ largest manufacturing operation, with more than 6 million square feet for production of washers, dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators.

Appliance Park sits on 750 acres in southern Jefferson County, where GE Appliances began production in 1953.  The campus serves as the company’s headquarters, and includes marketing, sales and support functions.  Appliance Park also houses the company’s technology and engineering center, industrial design, distribution center and warehouse operations.  GE Appliances employs more than 7,100 people full time at Appliance Park and a nearby call center.

Appliance Park is among the nearly 5,000 manufacturing-related facilities in Kentucky, which employ more than 250,000 people across the state.  Kentucky excels as a national leader in manufacturing, with about 13% of its workforce holding a job in the sector compared to the U.S. average of 8.5%.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer recognized the company for its continued growth and community support.

“GE Appliances is a company that you can count on day in and day out.  From today’s exciting announcement to its ‘Blue Wave’ of community service, GE Appliances is a national model for its commitment to invest in U.S. advanced manufacturing, for its cutting-edge products and for its impact to the well-being of our community,” Mayor Fischer said. “Thank you to GE Appliances for helping Louisville to be a leader in advanced manufacturing and to Kevin Nolan for his superb leadership!”

GE Appliances’ investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.

This year, the commonwealth has shattered every economic development record in the books for yearly investment totals. Year-to-date, private-sector new-location and expansion announcements include over $10 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create 14,000 full-time jobs across the coming years.  Through September, Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage is $24.15 before benefits, a 10% increase over the previous year.

In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.

In July, thanks to strong fiscal management by the Beshear administration, the state budget office reported the commonwealth ended the 2021 fiscal year with a general fund surplus of over $1.1 billion – the highest ever in the commonwealth – and a 10.9% increase in general fund receipts to $12.8 billion.

In May, Moody’s Analytics published a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, noting mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services.  The state’s recovery, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods over services.  The report also found Kentucky’s manufacturing industry outperformed the nation’s since the national downturn last year.

Fitch Ratings in May improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery.  The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.

In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita.  The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million.  Site Selection also recently placed Kentucky in a tie for fifth in its 2021 Prosperity Cup rankings, positioning the state among the national leaders for business climate.

To encourage investment and job retention in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today approved a supplemental project to an existing Kentucky Jobs Retention Act (KJRA) program agreement with the company.  The performance-based agreement can provide up to $80 million in cumulative tax incentives based on the company’s total cumulative investment of $727 million across the original and supplemental KJRA projects with an annual job target requirement of up to 8,400 over the term of the agreement.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates.  The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, GE Appliances can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers.  Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.