GE announced plans to invest $30 million and add more than 150 jobs, expanding capacity of GE Lighting's domestic manufacturing operations to meet growing consumer demand for GE Energy-Efficient Soft White light bulbs. This announcement is part of GE's continued investment in advanced manufacturing excellence, pairing the best people with the best technologies. The announcement coincides with a new agreement between Walmart and GE, as part of Walmart's $50 billion domestic manufacturing commitment to bring more American-made products to consumers. This agreement will put U.S.-made GE Energy-Efficient Soft White light bulbs on the shelves of 3,400 Walmart Stores by summer 2014.
Recruitment and hiring for the new manufacturing positions will occur over the coming months at three GE plants in Bucyrus and Circleville, Ohio, and Mattoon, Illinois. These new positions add to the more than 700 employees currently at work across the three plants.
GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said, "As a company whose history dates back more than 130 years, we understand that to grow, we have to invest--in R&D and in workers. Today's announcement is evidence of our continued commitment to creating advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and yet another sign of an American manufacturing renewal."
GE and Walmart have a rich history of collaborative innovation. Working with GE, Walmart helped to pioneer the development, testing and use of LED systems in the retail setting. Walmart was a first-mover in the use of LED signage, and it helped GE to conceive and perfect the application of LEDs in refrigerated display cases. Walmart store parking lots in the U.S. and abroad were among the first in the industry to switch to LED.
"Today marks another significant milestone in Walmart's valued relationship with GE and our effort to grow U.S. manufacturing," says Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. President and CEO. "Earlier this year, we committed to buying an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made products over the next decade. Our collaboration with GE brings real progress that benefits our customers and associates alike."
Since 2009, GE Lighting has invested more than a billion dollars to reshape the business, focusing on energy-efficient products and increasing R&D spending by 20 percent. GE has moved quickly to respond to increasing consumer demand for incandescent bulb alternatives, expanding existing manufacturing capabilities, while also working with Walmart to put domestically made bulbs into the hands of their consumers. Production of the domestically made bulbs will start the first half of 2014. GE Lighting operates its global headquarters and 17 plants and distribution centers--more than half its global manufacturing footprint--in the U.S.
About GE: 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.
About GE Lighting: GE Lighting invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs about 14,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal(R) and Energy Smart(R) consumer brands, and Evolve(TM), GTx(TM), Immersion(TM), Infusion(TM), Lumination(TM), Albeo(TM) and Tetra(R) commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric GE works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com.
About Walmart: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. WMT helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our more than 10,800 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/walmartnewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.