LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Officials at GE have unveiled a new washer and dryer line this morning.
Inside Building 1 at GE's massive Appliance Park, where topload washing machines have been built for about 60 years, two new assembly lines, costing over $100 million, have begun producing high-efficiency frontload washing machines and dryers.
This is the first time GE has produced a frontload washing machine and matching dryer from one of its U.S. plants. The new products mean about 200 more jobs.
"There's a lot of new faces," said union vice-president Eric Sims, "and we will win, we will take these jobs back and we will bring them back to America and we will make them better than anyone in the world."
The startup of these two lines completes the new product platforms GE committed to bring to Appliance Park in a 2010 announcement that stated it would invest $1 billion to transform its U.S. appliances business and products. Since that announcement, GE Appliances has hired 3,000 new employees in Louisville, 2,500 in 2012 alone.
In 2012 GE opened two refurbished factories in Louisville to house the first of the new product platforms: the GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater and French door refrigerator. It also added lines in two existing plants for new dishwasher and washing machine models.
"This is exciting news for our city and region, both for the 200 quality jobs that these new products bring and for the statement it makes about the quality of our local workforce and the confidence GE has in those men and women," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. "For Louisville to be the first city in America to build GE's new state-of-the-art appliances is also super exciting and bodes well for the future of our diverse and growing local economy."
Also, as part of the $1 billion investment, GE is investing in cooking products made in Lafayette, Ga., top-freezer refrigerators made in Decatur, Ala., and side-by-side refrigerators made in Bloomington, Ind.
"The new frontload washer and dryer are examples of what we set out to accomplish with our investment in U.S. design and manufacturing capability...producing great products with features and performance that delight consumers," said GE Appliances President and CEO Chip Blankenship. "Our team is committed to manufacture each unit here in Louisville with the highest quality levels and competitive costs."
The investment in factories and new products has created 3,000 jobs at Appliance Park since 2010.
Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All rights reserved.