GE Prepares Global Layoffs, Some Greenville Jobs Affected - WSPA.com

GE Prepares Global Layoffs, Some Greenville Jobs Affected

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Greenville County's fourth largest employer plans a global workforce reduction in its power and water business. A company spokesperson said the layoffs will affect less than 2% of the total workforce. Greenville County's fourth largest employer plans a global workforce reduction in its power and water business. A company spokesperson said the layoffs will affect less than 2% of the total workforce.
GREENVILLE, S.C. -

Greenville County's fourth largest employer plans a global workforce reduction in its power and water business. A company spokesperson said the layoffs will affect less than 2% of the total workforce.

"We're looking at ways to reduce cost across the global Power and Water business, in order to retain our competitiveness in a tough marketplace. There will be some reductions in jobs between now and the end of the year, but it will be minimized and targeted, impacting less than 2% of the workforce globally," said GE Communications Manager Susan Waldron in an email statement after 7 On Your Side asked about the layoffs.

The Greenville GE plant employs 3,150 people. A company official tells 7 On Your Side that none of the layoffs will impact hourly manufacturing workers. That official said total layoffs in Greenville impact fewer than 100 employees.

In 2011, GE CEO Jeff Immelt toured the Greenville plant. Immelt is also Chairman of President Obama's Commission on Jobs and Competitiveness.

During the tour, Immelt told 7 On Your Side the Greenville facility was planning to add 125 new employees. Asked about those jobs a company spokesman sent this response, "We continually review our operations to support changing industry dynamics. In Greenville, our manufacturing employment is up by 70 positions since the start of 2011, and we have hired 250 new manufacturing hourly associates."

Immelt also said the President's Commission encouraged all Fortune 500 companies to double the number of engineers they hire to "send a message" to colleges and to college students about the importance of engineering education.

He told an assembly of employees, "everybody who comes through the doors at GE is a story. They are their own story and we forget that."

Like make companies, GE operates under something called a "Fee In Lieu" agreement that lowers property taxes in exchange for targeted investments and certain employee targets. The GE agreement calls for employing a minimum of 200 people.

Waldron said in a statement, "for employees who are impacted, we will help them seek other opportunities within the company or if they ultimately leave the company, we will provide severance and outplacement assistance."

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