June 26, 2009

GE To Invest In Michigan Manufacturing & Technology Center

General Electric announced on Friday that it plans to open an "Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Software Center" in Michigan that would employ some 1,100 scientists, engineers and technologists over the next few years.

The state of Michigan is providing more than $60 million in incentives over the next 12 years to support the new center, whose workers will focus on information technology, energy and aviation research and development, and on driving progress in manufacturing capability.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center "will house scientists and engineers who will develop next generation manufacturing technologies for GE's leading renewable energy, aircraft engine, gas turbine and other high-technology products," GE said in a statement.

"Such work will include development of composites, machining, inspection, casting and coating technologies for GE's Aviation and Energy businesses."

The center will include a GE research and development facility that will be part of GE's Global Research network, and will house GE experts in software development, networking, data architecture, business intelligence and program management, the company said.

"They will develop software to support GE's business operations for several advanced technologies, like the smart grid. The site also will serve as a training hub for GE information technology professionals."

GE said it would invest some $100 million in the new center, a bright spot for a region particularly hard hit by the downturn of the US auto industry.

The center, which is expected to open later this year, will be located at the Visteon Village site, about 25 miles from Detroit. The research and development facility will be housed in a new 100,000-square-foot building that GE will construct on the site, while software and IT employees will work in existing office space, GE said.

"To lead in manufacturing and create high-value jobs in the U.S., we must invest in technology and in people," said GE's Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt in Michigan today, who was joined by Governor Jennifer Granholm, Senator Carl Levin and Senator Debbie Stabenow.

"The scientists, engineers and technologists that will work and learn at this center will help GE develop innovative new software, processes and technologies to make our manufacturing businesses even more productive and competitive," Immelt said.

"Michigan is a great location for a technology center because of its world-class engineering, technical talent and public officials who understand that investing now will create tomorrow's leading positions in information technology, clean energy and transportation."

"No state is working harder than Michigan to diversify its economy and create new jobs. GE's decision to invest and grow in Michigan demonstrates we have the high-tech workforce and competitive business climate necessary for global giants like GE to thrive in the 21st century," said Governor Granholm.

"Michigan is well positioned to be a leader in advanced manufacturing and development of green technologies. This facility will take advantage of our state's strengths and keep us on the forefront of these critical emerging industries," said Senator Levin.

"Michigan has always been about imagination, innovation, and invention "“ the same qualities that GE is known for today. That's why GE has chosen to locate this new advanced technology and training center here in Wayne County. This center is a reflection of Michigan's leadership in the clean energy economy, that will not only create good-paying jobs, but will lay the foundation for innovation and economic success for years to come," added Senator Stabenow.

GE is one of the largest companies in the United States, and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide.  Its businesses include energy, water, transportation, health and financial services.  It also controls the NBC Universal media group.


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