New training center at Appliance Park hopes to alleviate issues finding skilled workers
The upgrades and new additions are happening across Appliance Park, and are part of an effort to bring more processes in-house.
GE says one of the more notable upgrades comes as a response to the lack of skilled workers. A new training center will prepare both new hires and current employees looking to enter a new department.
"Manufacturing was not a business that your parents or teachers said you should go into and, in reality, it is," said Rob Willy, Injection Molding Center of Excellence Leader. "There is a skills gap locally with new hires that we are bringing in, so as part of this we are trying to bridge that gap and give them the technical skill sets."
GE made $1 million worth of upgrades in the existing training center, adding appliance simulators and hands-on training systems to a largely unused space.
"I've done fast food, to working at little grocery store here in Louisville, to driving a truck and delivering uniforms,” said Logan Hickey, 25, of Louisville.
Hickey was recently hired despite having absolutely no experience working on appliances. In the training center he is learning basic tasks including using an overhead drill, and connecting wires. He hopes the skills he learns here will propel him into stable full time employment, as he looks forward to working for a company that supports growth and movement.
"I'm hoping to make a good future for myself and retire here is what I'd really like to do,” he said.
The training center will also train current employees who want to learn new skills, allowing them to work in other departments. Many of the skills taught in the classroom are specialized skills that can't be taught in trade school.
"It's a wonder why we didn't have this before. It's going to save the company money. It's getting people more involved. It's overall a good process and I'm happy to be a part of it,” said Shane McAuliffe. McAuliffe has worked at GE for eight years, but recently signed up for a training class to learn the new paint system.
The new paint system is also part of the $250 million upgrades. The paint system means GE will no longer have to outsource painting of specialty colors on washers, dryers and dish washers.
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