GE to build first "First Build" micro factory in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

GE to build first "First Build" micro factory in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- GE is launching a new way to do business and has chosen Louisville to be the city that leads it.

Today GE announced it will build its first micro-factory, called First Build, on the U of L campus.

"This is a place where we are going to design things," says the CEO of GE Appliances Chip Blankenship, "we are going to make things we are going to sell stuff, we are going to learn what consumers want, we will innovate and solve their problems."

The company touts it as a new model for manufacturing.

GE says it will allow the company to innovate faster and introduce the products consumers want when they want them.


"Consumers are more demanding," says Blankenship, "their expectations for both speed and innovation are higher, and their expectation on frequency to bring new products to market is more demanding as well."

The company chose Louisville for its first micro factory because of support from U of L and the city.

U of L students will be able to do research and gain real world engineering experience.

"This will be open nine until nine every day of the week, we'll have student interns, we will have student co-ops," says U of L president James Ramsey.

While no new jobs will be created right away, the long range goal is to strengthen manufacturing in the region.

"We are going to find successful products more quickly which is going to lead to more jobs in factories," says Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

The micro factory is expected to begin operations in July.

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