GE Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Salem Manufacturing Plant
May 16, 2015
- Government Officials, Employees, Retirees and Their Families Gather to Celebrate Milestone
- GE Donates $4,000 to the Salvation Army’s Turning Point Program for Victims of Domestic Abuse
SALEM, Va. — May 16, 2015 — Today, GE’s Industrial Solutions business (NYSE: GE) celebrated the 60th anniversary of its Salem manufacturing plant. Hundreds of employees, retirees and their families joined together with government officials and community leaders for the milestone ceremony. The celebration included plant tours, fun family activities and a celebratory luncheon for all to enjoy.
“Celebrating 60 years of GE operating in Salem is a significant milestone,” said Bob Gilligan, CEO of GE’s Industrial Solutions business. “Our longevity is a credit to our employees, whose dedication and commitment to excellence are key to our competitiveness. GE is making substantial investments in our Industrial Solutions business to make it a more competitive industry leader that best serves our customers. In Salem alone, we have invested $40 million in the past five years. We’ve improved the facility’s manufacturing capabilities and upgraded our equipment and product portfolio. We have even enhanced the building and grounds, bringing in more natural lighting and really making it a great place to work.”
Craig Strong, plant manager of GE’s Salem facility, added, “There’s never been a more exciting time to work in manufacturing. We have a very skilled workforce in Salem, manufacturing highly engineered control products that can be found in equipment on every continent. Many other facilities from the same era are no longer in operation, have been torn down or have been sold. Our Salem plant is unique; we have continued to evolve, embracing changes in technology to stay competitive, improve our processes and remain customer centric. This ability to adapt has helped us keep GE in Salem.”
U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith participated in the event and extended his congratulations to GE. “For 60 years, GE’s Salem manufacturing plant has been an important part of the community and a good corporate citizen,” said Congressman Griffith. “Congratulations on the first 60 years. We look forward to continuing our partnership for decades to come.”
Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones recognized the significance of the company’s anniversary in Salem and said, “I congratulate GE and Salem for 60 years of operation. During those 60 years, the company has provided valuable products to customers all over the world and jobs that have enabled employees to live and raise families in the region. We look forward to another 60 years of progress in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Since 1955, GE employees have been designing, building and supporting power conversion controls, equipment and software in Salem. Today, the facility is home to more than 700 manufacturing employees, engineers and support staff, including experts from GE’s Oil & Gas and Power & Water businesses.
“For the past 60 years, GE has been an integral part of Salem and the Roanoke Valley, providing families with good paying jobs for a broad range of skill sets and experience levels," said Virginia Delegate Greg Habeeb. "Salem is a great community for GE because of our strong families, educated workforce, great public schools and pro-business climate. I hope this mutually beneficial partnership between GE and the Roanoke Valley can continue for another 60 years."
GE in Salem extends far beyond the jobs it provides; the company also has an outstanding reputation in the region for the work it does with community organizations. For 53 years, GE’s Salem employees have run a Christmas basket program, providing food to community members in need. Last year, employees and local retirees, along with their families and friends, packed more than 30,000 pounds of food into 760 boxes and delivered them to 380 households. In addition, GE supports the United Way of Roanoke Valley and in its most recent campaign raised $80,000 to improve health and human services in the community.
GE Donates $4,000 to Area’s Largest Domestic Violence Shelter
Another example of GE’s dedication to the Salem community is taking place today at the 60th anniversary celebration. Representatives from the Salvation Army are receiving a $4,000 donation from GE to the organization’s Roanoke Valley-based Turning Point program — the area’s largest secure shelter designed to provide domestic violence victims and their children with the safety, support and resources they need to rebuild their lives. The donation will help Turning Point significantly improve the living quarters for their residents. GE’s funds will enable the shelter to purchase lamps, new bedding and linens, wall-mounted TVs for the bedrooms and other room enhancements. Additionally, funds will be used to offset the cost of food for the roughly 3,600 meals served monthly to the women and children at the shelter.
“Without the generosity of corporate supporters such as GE, it would be impossible to maintain the level of care, compassion and safety we provide to victims of sexual and domestic violence across the Roanoke Valley,” said Jamie Starkey, Turning Point shelter director. “We are beyond grateful for this financial blessing!”
About GE’s Salem Facility
GE’s facility in Salem designs and produces control systems and integrated circuit boards for gas and steam generators, pitch systems for wind turbine blade controls, starters for gas turbines and down-tower assembly for wind power conversion systems. Together, the circuit boards and control centers produce digital signals that indicate how equipment is running. In addition, design and testing of computer software is done on-site in the facility’s low- and high-voltage labs to ensure GE’s software solutions work harmoniously with the company’s hardware to create simpler, more cohesive control systems for the power generation industry. Products designed and manufactured at the Salem plant are used in applications across the globe. The facility also houses a 24-hour call center to help customers diagnose problems and troubleshoot. Additionally, there is a global training center on-site where customers can learn how to use GE’s equipment - approximately 300 global customers visit the facility every year.
About GE’s Industrial Solutions Business
Industrial Solutions empowers smarter business operations by connecting equipment, software and services to protect, control and optimize assets within electrical infrastructures. The business provides customers, across various industries, with end-to-end product and service solutions that help ensure the reliability and protection of their electrical infrastructure. Industrial Solutions’ product and service solutions add to GE’s broader portfolio of leading technology solutions for the delivery, management, conversion and optimization of electrical power for customers across multiple energy-intensive industries.
GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world. www.ge.com
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