GE is a global company with deep roots in the United States. GE traces its beginnings to Thomas A. Edison, who established Edison Electric Light Company in 1878. In 1892, a merger of Edison General Electric Company and Thomson-Houston Electric Company created General Electric Company. GE is the only company listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Index today that was also included in the original index in 1896. The company’s global headquarters are in Fairfield, Connecticut.
GE currently employs more than 130,000 people in the U.S. The Company is dedicated to America’s long-term economic and industrial growth, with efforts centering on manufacturing, innovation and jobs. In addition, we continue to help our customers be more competitive in the U.S. and globally.
Throughout the country, GE employees take pride in the work we do. Good citizenship inspires our thinking and drives our actions, whether we’re inventing things that matter, reducing our impacts on the planet or addressing critical community needs.
Hiring More Veterans
GE employs more than 10,000 veterans, meaning approximately one out of every 13 GE U.S. employees is a veteran. The Company has about 100 U.S. employee reservists currently serving overseas and has been named as a top military recruiter by G.I. Jobs magazine.
Earlier this year, GE announced it will hire 5,000 veterans over the next five years and partner with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to sponsor 400 job fairs for veterans in 2012 as part of its “Hiring Our Heroes” initiative. Additionally, GE is offering extra hiring training and services at 50 of those job fairs. The Company also renewed its Statement of Support with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, which underscores GE’s commitment to support employee reservists when they are called to active duty. Together, these efforts help ensure veterans and reservists have the utmost support as they assimilate into the civilian workforce.
Encouraging More Engineers
GE is committed to nurturing young engineering talent through its various engineering-training programs. GE currently has 2,500 engineering interns working across the Company in the U.S., and is committed to double that number as part of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness initiative to graduate 10,000 more engineers a year in the U.S. The program is directly tied back to jobs, as GE hires 80% of its full-time engineers from its internship pool. GE is one of the largest employers of engineers in the U.S., employing more than 19,000.
GE takes a multifaceted approach to improving healthcare in the U.S. It begins with new initiatives for our employees like HealthAhead—aimed at creating a culture of health and wellness that encourages employees and their families to be smart about their health and to make better, more informed decisions. It continues with breakthrough technologies, such as patient monitoring devices, imaging equipment and information delivery systems, such as digitalization of medical records. GE also develops sustainable systemic approaches for healthcare delivery, and philanthropic initiatives such as Developing Health™, aimed at medically underserved populations in targeted communities around the country.
Through the Company’s healthymagination program, GE and its partners launched a $100 million Open Innovation Challenge in September 2011, which sought to identify and promote ideas that advance breast cancer early detection and diagnostics. Researchers, businesses, students and other innovators submitted more than 500 breakthrough ideas for funding consideration. Five seed winners were selected by a judging panel. Each winner was awarded $100,000 to develop ideas relating to the detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The winners were Vanderbilt University; the University of Akron, Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa; Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and its partner Uganda Cancer Institute (Kampala); and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, in Nashville.
Healthymagination also deployed a new “mammography van” to travel across the state of Wyoming to increase access to breast-cancer screenings. The van is part of the WY Women First Program, a collaboration among GE, the State of Wyoming and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, which works to increase access to mammography screenings in one of the most rural states in the United States. The program aims to screen 15,000 women in Wyoming using the mammogram van and a grant that supports care for uninsured women.
In Cincinnati, Ohio, GE convened employers, hospitals, doctors, insurers and others with the goal of creating a healthier community. By driving common information and common standards of care, we’ve helped transform more than 100 physician practices into models of coordinated primary care. The results, while early, are already showing fewer ER visits, fewer admissions and fewer avoidable conditions. Helping employers and providers lower costs while improving access to quality care is an exciting proposition. We are now establishing similar pilot programs in other GE communities, starting with Louisville, Kentucky, and Erie, Pennsylvania.
The Developing Health (DH) program, now in its third year, leverages GE Foundation funding and the expertise of local GE teams to bring operational improvements and better clinical care to underserved communities through partnerships with nonprofit community health centers. These health centers are often the only available means of access to primary and preventive care for millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans across the country. In the last year, DH has expanded to reach more than 70 health centers across 20 U.S. cities. Through a total commitment of $23.4MM in funding and more than 31,000 employee hours, improvements to clinical care and practice management have been achieved across the U.S., and access to primary care services have been enabled for more than 1 million people.
Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to innovative technologies and practices that maximize resources and drive economic efficiencies to make the world work better. In 2011, GE received the most clean-energy patents in the U.S., according to the annual Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI), published by the intellectual property law firm Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti, based in Albany, New York. The index tracks the granting of U.S. patents for solar, wind, fuel cells, biofuels and other renewable-energy technologies. GE took the top spot with 184 patents, which represent nearly 8% of the 2,331 U.S. clean-energy patents awarded to more than 800 firms and businesses in 2011. The Company finished far ahead of the runner-up by 56 patents. The vast majority of GE’s clean-energy patents were in wind energy (152), followed by solar and hybrid- and electric- vehicle patents.
Over the last decade, nearly one out of every two wind turbines installed in the U.S. has been a GE Energy wind turbine. GE expects to install about 40% of the wind turbines in the U.S. this year. States such as Texas and Iowa are leading the charge, with incentives like tax credits helping to make wind energy economically competitive with other sources of power. Investors large and small are embracing the benefits of wind power. For example, in rural Iowa, 180 residents of two small towns, Greenfield (population 2,100) and Fontanelle (population 700), pooled their money to buy shares in six new GE wind turbines and add 9.6 megawatts (mW) to their grid. Iowa offers a 10-year tax credit for small wind power projects generating less than 2.5 mW, and local counties provide property-tax incentives for the first seven years. Each turbine generates benefits from tax credits, land lease royalty payments, property taxes and dividends. Those benefits total $1.08 million annually over a period of 10 years. The rewards go directly back to the community. GE points to Greenfield and Fontanelle as role models for the rest of the country. “Ten percent of U.S. states generate more than 10% of their electricity from wind, with Iowa as one of the leaders at 19%,” says Vic Abate, GE’s vice president of Renewable Energy. “The community wind-energy initiative in Iowa represents an important model for other towns and communities to learn from.”
Natural Gas Fueling Stations
With abundant reserves of cheap and cleaner-burning natural gas more widely available, GE recently announced a new collaboration with Chesapeake Energy aimed at accelerating adoption of natural gas–powered vehicles in the U.S. GE and Chesapeake will develop the infrastructure required to make filling up with compressed natural gas (CNG)—usable in cars, pickups, vans, SUVs, taxicabs, transit buses and garbage and delivery trucks—or liquefied natural gas (LNG)—usable for heavier-duty industrial purposes—as convenient as gasoline. The upshot is reducing American dependence on foreign oil, while also reducing fuel costs and vehicle emissions.
Under the agreement, GE will supply more than 250 standardized, modular CNG compression units that can be used at natural gas vehicle (NGV) fueling stations, enabling natural gas compression from a pipeline to be pumped directly into vehicles. Called “CNG in a Box™,” the units are ecomagination-qualified by GE. For each vehicle in a fleet, assuming the same 27,500 miles traveled per year, a fleet operator can reduce CO2 emissions from each vehicle by 24% per year, or 2.2 metric tons (MT).
There are more than 230 million commercial cars and light-duty trucks on U.S. roads—a huge potential source for widespread electric vehicle (EV) adoption. GE continues to lead the development of the critical infrastructure technology needed to connect EVs to the grid. In 2011, GE and Nissan announced a joint R&D effort to speed the creation of the charging infrastructure necessary for EV adoption. Amid promising signs, and a healthy but still nascent market for electric cars in the U.S., GE and Nissan pledged to combine their R&D resources to help the EV market grow by focusing on two key research areas: first, integrating electric vehicles with homes and buildings; and second, investigating EV-charging dynamics and the future impact on the electricity grid once millions of EVs are on the road. Twenty-five percent of the world’s electricity is generated or distributed by equipment designed and made by GE. In addition, GE can build on its experience with its EV commercial fleet customers and already builds technology that touches every point of EV infrastructure, like the WattStation charging system.
Researchers at GE’s Global Research center in Niskayuna, New York, are underway designing and building a better commercial-fleet charging station that will incorporate GE’s existing smart-grid technology and help dramatically cut installation costs in the depots and garages housing bus, vehicle delivery and other commercial and government fleets. The project also has received support from the U.S. Department of Energy.
In May 2012, GE Capital Fleet Services opened a first-of-its-kind Vehicle Innovation Center at its headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. This world-class facility provides businesses, industry groups and researchers with first-hand experience with alternative-fuel vehicles such as electric, natural gas, propane, hydrogen and other formats. The center features a private half-mile driving course and access to alternative-fuel vehicles from 20 automotive manufacturers, giving GE’s commercial customers the opportunity to learn about and test drive numerous alternative-fuel cars and trucks in a single location, with assistance from GE’s Fleet, Transportation, Energy and Advanced Technology experts. With 6,000 square feet of classrooms and showrooms, the center also allows visitors access to a variety of products and solutions from GE’s ecomagination portfolio, including solutions for the smart grid, EV charging stations, CNG in a Box, fuel savings mobile applications, and other advanced energy and infrastructure technologies.
GE’s Global business generated $18 billion in U.S. exports in 2011, helping to support jobs for more than 130,000 GE workers and thousands of suppliers across the country.
GE is spurring a reinvigoration of the U.S. manufacturing sector with its commitment to create more than 14,500 new jobs at 16 new or remodeled facilities, including GE’s Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center (AMSTC) in Van Buren Township, Michigan; a new locomotive plant in Fort Worth, Texas; an aviation composites facility in Ellisville, Mississippi; and a new engine remanufacturing facility in Grove City, Pennsylvania.
In early 2012, after a modernization of our factories, GE began production on its first new appliance product line in more than 50 years at Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky. This milestone effort is part of GE Appliances’ $1 billion commitment to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. But the investment also feeds a fertile economic ecosystem that thrives beyond GE factory gates.
A recent economic impact study commissioned by GE estimated that the Company and its 5,000 Kentucky employees help support, through their spending and purchasing, an additional 7,300 jobs in the state. The study (by Tripp Umbach) calculated that about one out of every 189 jobs in the Commonwealth of Kentucky benefits from the economic link between GE and its partners and customers.
The same relationship also helps generate an estimated $1.6 billion per year for Kentucky’s economy. This includes $746 million in GE direct spending, and an additional $861 million in indirect purchases by GE employees, and their households, and by GE vendors spending the Company’s payments. On a national scale, GE and its partners help to add $166 billion to the U.S. economy per year.
The expansion of the Aviation business has been driven in part by an unprecedented boom in orders and commitments for jet engines, especially the new emissions-reducing LEAP engine. In 2011, orders of the LEAP totaled more than 3,000 units at CFM International, the 50/50 joint company of France’s Snecma and GE Aviation. Together with orders for its popular CFM56 engines, orders and commitments at CFM totaled a record 4,556 in 2011, a figure three times its current yearly output. The GE-built portion of the LEAP and the CFM56 engines are fully assembled in the U.S., with participation from facilities across the country, including Asheville, North Carolina; Peebles, Ohio; Hooksett, New Hampshire; and Victorville, California. The LEAP engines are on schedule to enter service in 2016, and as production comes online and expands, GE expects to hire hundreds more employees in the U.S.
In 2011, the Company also announced the establishment of a new global software center in Northern California, deepening the company’s investment in the Industrial Internet, with the aim of making the physical world of industry more intelligent.
GE is increasing its commitment to making customers more productive and successful, in the U.S. and globally, through new technology and tools and Six Sigma–style processes that unlock additional value for customers and help them grow and compete. The Company has expanded Access GE, an initiative that allows GE Capital’s customers to benefit from the full breadth of GE expertise, making it available to more U.S. middle-market businesses.
U.S. middle-market financing is currently the largest concentration of GE Capital’s portfolio, with 25% of its global assets supporting more than 470,000 middle-market customers, including: dealer floor plan financing, capital for restaurant-franchise entrepreneurs, managing corporate fleet vehicles, equipment lending and leasing for businesses, and sales finance services and private-label cards for more than 250,000 retailers.