GE Invests US$ 30 M to Expand U.S. Incandescent Bulb Production Capacity

General Electric (GE) announced plans to invest US$ 30 million and add more than 150 jobs in U.S., expanding capacity of GE Lighting’s domestic manufacturing operations to meet growing consumer demand for GE energy-efficient soft white incandescent light bulbs. The announcement coincides with a new agreement between Walmart and GE, as part of Walmart’s US$ 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 incandescent light bulbs on the shelves of 3,400 Walmart Stores by summer 2014.

GE announced plans to invest $30 million to expand operations at three plants, including 70 new manufacturing jobs at its facility in Bucyrus, Ohio. (Photo: GE)

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.

“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,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “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 Lighting's plant in Circleville, Ohio will add 50 new manufacturing jobs as a result of an agreement between GE and Walmart to provide U.S.-made Energy-Efficient Soft White light bulbs on Walmart store shelves next year. (Photo: GE)

GE and Walmart have a history of collaborative innovation. Working with GE, Walmart helped to pioneer the development, testing and use of LED systems in the retail setting. Walmart 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.”

Mattoon Lamp Plant, GE Lighting's global halogen manufacturing center of excellence, will add 30 jobs as a result of the growing customer demand for Energy-Efficient Soft White light bulbs. (Photo: GE )

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%. 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.

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