LAFAYETTE, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, and its wholly owned subsidiary Roper Corporation today joined with state and local officials to celebrate 50 years of cooking leadership in Georgia and a multi-million-dollar investment that’s adding new products, good jobs and the latest in advanced manufacturing technology.
During a first look at the factory’s transformation, GE Appliances and Roper unveiled new assembly lines, presses, and robotics—the result of the company’s $118 million investment that will enable the plant to build new models of freestanding ranges, which will be available in early 2024. Roper, with 2,500 employees, is GEA’s largest manufacturing operation outside of its Louisville, Ky. headquarters.
“At GE Appliances, we are relentlessly focused on making great products for our customers and consumers,” said Kevin Nolan, president and CEO for GE Appliances. “Over the past six years our investments in new product development, digital technologies and advanced manufacturing have helped us deliver some of the world’s most innovative appliances. For 50 years, the team here in LaFayette has built ranges, cooktops and ovens with technology that has shaped the way Americans cook at home. I want to thank the employees here at Roper for their dedication to creating new possibilities for life at home. I also want to thank Governor Kemp and the Georgia economic development team, the legislative delegation, and our partners in the City of LaFayette, Walker County and Northwest Georgia for the support they continue to provide.”
Bringing the Latest Advanced Manufacturing Technology to North Georgia
Over the last six years, GE Appliances has invested over $2 billion in its operations and moved from benchmarking companies in the aerospace and auto industries to being recognized as one of the leaders in implementing digital engineering and manufacturing technology. The new ranges, launching under the GE® brand, are designed using a full range of cutting-edge digital engineering tools, enabling GEA to turn ideas and insights into product innovation faster than ever before and achieve a new level of craftsmanship.
In the factory, new assembly lines will feature the latest advanced manufacturing technology, including cells of robots that assemble glass cooktops, program control boards, and rotate the units to give operators ease of access during final assembly. The $118 million investment more than tripled the robotics used at Roper, improving efficiency and ergonomics for employees, all while adding 600 new jobs.
Investments in robotics and digitization are creating new career pathways and opportunities to upskill the plant’s workforce. The plant recently secured grant money from the state of Georgia to fund an apprenticeship in partnership with Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC). The grant will enable 45 employees to train in robotics in preparation for the launch.
“Here at Roper Corporation, we put employees at the center of all we do,” said Luther Ingram, president and executive director of Roper Corporation. “New generations are entering the workforce and people’s wants and needs are changing. From offering part-time flexible work schedules to our new three-day weekend schedule to providing thousands of dollars of tuition reimbursement, we are removing barriers and creating an environment where people can grow and achieve their American Dream.”
Investing in Georgia’s American Dream: Highlights from the 2022 Economic Impact Report
Roper has played an important role in LaFayette, Walker County, and North Georgia’s economic growth since it opened in 1973. GEA has issued its 2022 Economic Impact Report highlighting the $24.5 billion contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) generated by the cumulative impact of its economic activities since 2016. The company’s growth has enabled it to add more than 4,000 new employees to bring its total U.S. employment to 16,000. The ripple effect of the company’s investments, hiring, purchasing power and other economic activities has created an additional 89,000 jobs in the nation’s economy benefitting more than 100,000 U.S. families, including 10,350 families in Georgia.
In addition to the Roper plant, GEA operates three other sites in Georgia.
Key highlights of the company’s economic impact in Georgia include:
- 2,550 employees across the state
- 7,800 additional jobs created by the economic impact of GEA, its employees, customers and suppliers
- $256 million spent by GEA annually with 353 Georgia suppliers
- $2.45 billion contributed to Georgia’s GDP
- $140 million generated in state and local taxes
- GEA has invested $161 million and created 700 jobs in Walker County since 2016
About GE Appliances
At GE Appliances we make the world a better place, and our team is committed to leading in the communities where we live and work. Today, our appliances are in 50 percent of all U.S. homes, and our business is committed to serving every family in the country. We are a purpose-rooted and passion-driven organization that believes there is always a better way. We manufacture and sell products under the Monogram®, Café™, GE Profile™, GE®, Haier, and Hotpoint brands. Our products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and water filtration systems. For more information on our company, brands, and corporate citizenship, visit geappliancesco.com.
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