GE Transportation Invests in U.S. Plants and Jobs, Expands U.S. Manufacturing Footprint in Mining
Erie, Penn. -– GE Transportation, the world’s leading maker of rail, mining and transportation-related products, announced today investments totaling $231 million in manufacturing improvements and site upgrades to its Erie, Penn. site and a new manufacturing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to meet accelerating domestic and global demand.
The expansions reflect GE Transportation’s growing global presence and rising demand for products and exports, particularly in the growing global mining industry.
“These latest investments in our U.S. facilities put GE Transportation in a position to shape the future of the transportation industry worldwide,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, President and CEO of GE Transportation. “We’re making significant investments in GE’s technology leadership, product innovation, and state-of-the art manufacturing operations to serve our customers worldwide.”
GE Transportation’s return to double-digit growth in 2011 has resulted in job growth in the U.S. The business has announced more than 2,000 jobs in the U.S. in 2011, including more than 1,100 jobs filled at GE Transportation’s key manufacturing location in Erie. As part of today’s announcement, GE Transportation will hire about 360 new employees in Erie by the end of 2011, including 160 production workers to meet increasing demand for mining equipment. GE will also hire about 200 employees to backfill positions following the upcoming early retirement of production workers in Erie. The company is offering a Special Early Retirement Option and a Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program to eligible employees as part of the union contract ratified in June 2011.
In Erie, GE will invest $58 million in research and testing technology, facilities and equipment to reduce engine emissions and improve fuel efficiency of GE locomotives as well as engines used in the marine and stationary power industries. This includes investments in test laboratories, called test cells, for large-scale diesel engines at the Erie plant. The enhanced test cells will enable GE engineers to refine an industry-leading locomotive that is fuel-efficient, reliable, durable, affordable, and that meets stringent EPA Tier 4 emissions standards scheduled to take effect in 2015. The success of this program will be a keystone to GE Transportation's continued growth.
GE will invest an additional $38 million in the Erie plant this year to increase capacity and modernize machining, equipment and tooling used for producing locomotives, drive systems for mining trucks and other transportation products. Production at the Erie plant is currently at levels equivalent to the facility’s peak production levels achieved most recently in 2008.
GE Transportation will also spend $40 million on facility upgrades and site beautification at its more than 100-year-old Erie plant, including new offices for hundreds of employees and a Customer Showcase Center.
Expansion of Mining
In response to rising demand for mining equipment, GE Transportation plans to increase its production capacity in the U.S. The Company will add approximately 160 production workers in Erie in 2011 to meet customer demand for motorized wheels for mining vehicles. GE Transportation will also leverage its supply chain to supplement its manufacturing operations to address surge demand for AC motorized wheels and drill motors.
The Company also intends to build a 236,000 square-foot facility adjacent to its new manufacturing plant in Fort Worth, TX, to complement its manufacturing operations in Erie. Pending necessary public approvals, GE plans to invest approximately $95 million in the new facility to manufacture and assemble AC motorized wheels for off-highway vehicles. The Company plans to launch production at the new facility in mid-2012 and anticipates hiring approximately 130 employees there.
Tina Donikowski, Vice President of Propulsion Systems and Services at GE Transportation, said, “One of GE Transportation’s strengths is our ability to adapt to changing markets and expand capabilities. We have stepped up production of mining equipment, drill motors, and other products. We expect to grow in these industries by providing leading technology and reliable products to our global customer base in the decades to come.”
The company reported $2.1 billion in revenues for the first half of this year, up 45 percent compared to the same period last year. Segment profits for the same period were $335 million, up 135 percent. GE Transportation received $2.3 billion of orders in the first half of 2011. GE will announce its thirdquarter earnings on October 21.
According to an economic impact study conducted by independent research firm Tripp Umbach in 2010, GE Transportation is a significant contributor to the economic health and quality of life in communities across Erie County, Northwestern Pennsylvania and the state. GE’s transportation business supports one in 11 jobs in Erie County and approximately one in 350 jobs in Pennsylvania. Every GE job supports close to three additional jobs across the state. GE Transportation’s operations have an annual total economic impact of $2.7 billion on Erie County and $4.6 billion on the state. For more information visit www.getransportation.com/community.
About GE Transportation
GE Transportation, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a global technology leader and supplier to the railroad, marine, drilling, mining and energy storage industries. GE Transportation provides freight and passenger locomotives, signaling and communications systems, information technology solutions, marine engines, motorized drive systems for mining trucks and drills, high-quality replacement parts and value added services. GE Transportation is headquartered in Erie, Penn., and employs approximately 11,000 employees worldwide.