To enable its renaissance in U.S. manufacturing, GE Appliances had to completely reboot IT to act like an agile startup.
The project she was talking about has become the poster child of the “Revitalization of U.S. manufacturing.” That’s how it’s hailed by politicians, business leaders, and workers. They view it as proof that America is still a great place to make things. At its core, the project is about manufacturing refrigerators, water heaters, and washers at GE’s historic Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky — a plant that was on the verge of shutting down just four years old.
In 2009, General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said that GE was committing to a $1 billion re-investment in U.S. factories and the creation of 1,300 new American jobs by 2014 — mostly manufacturing jobs returning from China and Mexico. As a result, GE’s Appliance Park has sprung back to life, sprucing up its warehouses, retraining workers, and purchasing the latest manufacturing equipment so that it can launch new product lines of appliances from the Louisville plant.
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