GE Appliances on Friday announced plans to invest $115 million to expand its Decatur, Ala. refrigerator manufacturing plant.
The expansion will add 255 new full-time jobs, bringing the plant’s total employment to nearly 1,300.
The investment will help GE Appliances increase production to meet increasing demand for its top-mounted freezer refrigerators and represents the company’s latest step toward fulfilling a strategic goal of becoming the leading major appliance business in the U.S.
“The expansion being announced today by GE Appliances reflects the company’s deep commitment to its employees at the Decatur facility and to the state,” said Gov. Kay Ivey of the news. “We’re proud that this great company calls Alabama home, and we look forward to supporting the continued growth of a manufacturing location that has a substantial economic impact on the area.”
The investment will add approximately 40,000 square feet to the plant, along with new cutting-edge manufacturing equipment that further advances GE Appliances’ plan to transition to a fully interconnected digital factory.
This advanced equipment will also provide the Decatur operation with rapid flexibility, enabling it to offer future product innovations while building on a legacy of quality leadership. Overall, the investment will boost production capacity by 25 percent and make the Decatur plant a “refrigerator super site” for GE Appliances.
“Our announcement today is great news for our business, for our GE Appliances family in Decatur, and for the State of Alabama,” added Kevin Nolan, President and CEO of GE Appliances. “Our $115 million investment in Decatur is a critical part of our plan to be the leading appliances business in the United States. We are already a significant member of the local Decatur community, and look forward to a continued partnership with Decatur and the entire state of Alabama for many years to come.”
GE Appliances’ Decatur plant is already the largest industrial employer in Morgan County. The company conducts approximately $95 million in business with suppliers across Alabama, and the construction of the expanded Decatur facility and increased production is expected to expand this business. Following the investment, the five-year economic impact of the Decatur operation is expected to increase to $2.2 billion, according to GE Appliances.
“Today’s expansion announcement is a reflection of the company’s commitment to our Decatur community and a testament to the accomplishments of the GEA-Decatur team,” Decatur Plant Manager Renee Story said. “This investment means we will not only be able to welcome more than 250 new associates and enhance our skill level, but also expand our relationships with local suppliers.”
Story continued, “We appreciate support from the State of Alabama, the City of Decatur, the Morgan County Commission, the Morgan Country Economic Development Association, and the Tennessee Valley Authority in helping make this investment possible.”
The Decatur operation is the highest-volume GE Appliances refrigerator plant, producing GE and Hotpoint products that rank high in quality and dependability. As a result of this investment, the plant has opportunities for continued growth in the Decatur community for years to come.
“GE Appliances’ decision to make a significant reinvestment in its Decatur manufacturing center and expand its workforce are strong indicators of the confidence the company has in its Alabama operation,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “This expansion project strengthens the long-term partnership we have built with GE Appliances and enhances the competitiveness of the Decatur facility.”
The expansion of the Decatur plant comes as GE Appliances recently marked the second anniversary of becoming part of Haier, the world’s largest appliance brand. Since joining Haier in June 2016, GE Appliances has made a series of other major investments at its U.S facilities.
“A major employer for over 40 years, GE Appliances is a fixture in Decatur-Morgan County,” added Jeremy Nails, president and CEO of the Morgan County Economic Development Association. “This announcement of new investment and jobs is a reflection of our local workforce, business climate, and economic momentum. We are grateful to GE Appliances for this expansion and look forward to supporting their local operations through this growth.”