WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE (NYSE: GE) today began a four-day event with partners in Washington, D.C. dedicated to America’s long-term economic and industry growth with discussions centered around manufacturing, innovation and jobs and announced new commitments to strengthen America’s global competitiveness by building a more highly skilled workforce, lowering healthcare costs and supporting the integration of the nation’s veterans into the workforce.
“American business can compete and win anywhere,” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said. “There are companies and communities all across the country that are leading the way. We know that renewing American manufacturing works; affordable healthcare works; high-skill training works; investing in people works; supporting customers works; accessing global markets works. We should have the confidence to act and to restore American competitiveness.”
As part of its focus on what works, GE will launch several new programs throughout the year, including:
- New pilot programs with partners to improve healthcare delivery in Louisville, KY, and Erie, PA, to achieve better health at lower costs in each community. This follows a successful program in Cincinnati that has resulted in significantly lower costs for both local employers and providers while improving access and maintaining quality care.
- Hiring 5,000 U.S. veterans over the next five years and sponsoring a “Hire our Heroes” partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help veterans integrate into the civilian workforce and match them to jobs.
- Opening several manufacturing skill-building centers called “GE Garages” to spark interest in skills for jobs and partnering with GOOD/Corps on the What Works Project, a new interactive platform to highlight what works by inviting the public to submit stories, images or video depictions of what is currently driving American competitiveness. The project will award up to $10,000 each week through November to selected non-profit organizations that support American jobs and skills training.
- Doubling the number of GE engineering interns to more than 5,000 as part of an initiative proposed by the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to add 10,000 more engineering graduates a year in the U.S.
GE also today announced details of the expansion of its Aviation business in 2012, including investing $580M in the expansion of its manufacturing and research & development footprints in the U.S. to support growing production rates and expanded product offerings. GE Aviation is adding more than 400 new manufacturing jobs and in 2013 will open the three new plants that are under construction in Ellisville, MS, Auburn, AL, and Dayton, OH. The plants are part of GE investment in the U.S., which includes the construction or rebuilding of 16 plants and more than 12,000 new jobs. Last week GE began production on its first new appliance product line in more than 50 years at Appliance Park in Louisville, KY.
Affordable, High-Quality Healthcare. In 2009, GE launched partnerships in the greater Cincinnati area with city leaders, local employers, providers, payers and civic organizations to establish region-wide treatment standards, encourage more efficient information exchange and improve health and wellness education among those battling chronic diseases. After two years, the program resulted in more than 100 new primary care centers, fewer emergency room visits and hospital admissions and decreased healthcare costs per GE employee. GE will expand this program to Louisville and Erie in 2012.
Hiring More Veterans. GE will hire 5,000 veterans over the next five years and partner with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to sponsor 400 jobs fairs for veterans in 2012 as part of the “Hiring our Heroes” initiative. Additionally, GE will offer extra hiring training and services at 50 of those jobs fairs. The company will also renew its Statement of Support with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, which renews GE’s commitment to support employee reservists when they are called to active duty. Together these efforts will help ensure veterans and reservists have the utmost support as they assimilate into the civilian workforce.
GE employs more than 10,000 veterans and has about 100 U.S. employee reservists currently serving overseas and has been named as a top military recruiter by G.I. Jobs Magazine.
Skills building. GE will undertake two programs to help build jobs skills and to focus on what works:
- GE Garages. GE is partnering with Skillshare, Tech Shop, Inventables, Make and Quirky to open new building spaces that serve as a manufacturing lab for technologists, entrepreneurs and everyday Americans. Kicking-off with mobile pop-ups in Austin and Houston, TX, and San Francisco, CA, and then with long-term locations in Houston and Cincinnati OH, GE Garages will offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity for visitors to learn about the invention prototyping and manufacturing processes, receive support in product building, collaborate in hands-on maker workshops, participate in trainings on high-tech prototyping equipment and learn from guest speakers. With partners, GE is bringing its manufacturing expertise and industrial know-how to deliver manufacturing education and innovation that support each community and its employment base.
- What Works Project with GOOD/Corps. In partnership with GOOD/Corps, GE launched the What Works Project, an interactive platform for people to highlight what is already working by inviting the public to go to www.celebratewhatworks.com and submit stories, images or video depictions of what is currently driving American competitiveness. Stories submitted to the What Works Project will culminate in a tapestry that showcases the power of American communities at work. In addition, the What Works Project will award up to $10,000 each week from February through November 2012 to selected non-profit organizations that support American jobs and skills training. The What Works Project will also reward individual daily cash prices of $500 for the participants whose submissions receive the most votes.
The site is currently integrated with Facebook and Twitter, with places to sync up with Instragram, making it easy to upload and share photos of what works. Twitter users can use hashtag #whatworks and receive a unique URL from @generalelectric to accelerate the submission process.
More Engineers. GE is committed to nurturing young engineering talent through its Edison Engineering Development Program. GE currently has 2,500 engineering interns working across the company in the U.S. and is committing to double that number as part of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness initiative to graduate 10,000 more engineers a year in the U.S. The program is directly tied back to jobs, as GE hires 80% of full-time engineers from the internship pool. GE is one of the largest employers of engineers in the U.S. with more than 19,000 engineers.
Customer Competitiveness. GE is increasing its commitment to making customers more productive and successful in the U.S. and globally through new technology and tools and Six Sigma-style process that will unlock additional value for customers and help them grow and compete. The company will also expand Access GE, an initiative that allows GE Capital’s customers to benefit from the full breadth of GE’s expertise, to more U.S. middle-market businesses. This year, GE is launching similar programs to unlock value for Rail, Aviation, Healthcare and Energy customers.
American Competitiveness: What Works
The “American Competitiveness: What Works” event is centered on manufacturing, innovation, jobs and trade and brings together more than 65 leaders from business and politics to explore ways to make the U.S. a more competitive country.
Leaders joining GE include: Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman & CEO, The Dow Chemical Company; Jim McNerney, Chairman, President & CEO, The Boeing Company; Governor John Hickenlooper (CO); Mayor Greg Fischer (Louisville, KY); Former Governor Haley Barbour (MS); Dr. Regina Dugan, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; Alfred Spector, Vice President of Research and Special Initiatives, Google; Bruce Andrews, Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Commerce; Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Governor Bob McDonnell (VA); Senator Tom Carper (DE); Secretary Robert Rubin, Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; Kevin Schmiegel, Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs General; Senator Patty Murray (WA); Speaker John Boehner; and more.
Each day will be organized around a different theme:
- Monday, February 13: American Manufacturing. Sessions will focus on strengthening American competitiveness, creating an environment that fosters manufacturing growth and growing middle market investment.
- Tuesday, February 14: Innovation. Topics will include leading edge innovation in medical research, transportation infrastructure, energy and the role of innovation in successful businesses and countries.
- Wednesday, February 15: Global Competitiveness. Speakers will focus on the opportunities and challenges in emerging markets and will analyze the policy conditions needed to support a robust global economy. Panelists also will discuss the international trade and export agenda and the global supply chain, and how they can support the domestic economy.
- Thursday, February 16: Workforce, Veterans and Reservists. The final day of the summit will focus on job creation in America and how to best create opportunities for veterans rejoining the civilian workforce.
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.