General Electric To Stay In The Fort

In case you’re like me and didn’t hear the news, GE will be leaving its Motor Division, which is headquartered here in Fort Wayne and employs apprxoimately 220 persons.

Journal Gazette Article by Marty Schladen:


General Electric’s Fort Wayne operations won’t be spun off next year with the company’s Consumer and Industrial business group, a spokeswoman said last week.

Instead, the company’s local operations in September were folded into the GE Energy Infrastructure group, an endeavor that CEO Jeffrey Immelt has said fits with the company’s core business.

That means that GE’s Fort Wayne operations will continue under the GE name for the foreseeable future, spokeswoman Catherine Stengel said.

[…] Despite the Motors operation remaining part of GE, a state senator who spent a career working there is pessimistic that the company will ever be more than a shadow of its former presence.

He said it’s too cheap to produce motors overseas.

In fact, GE might have calculated that it’s cheaper to keep a skeleton operation in Fort Wayne than to close down, demolish and clean up its massive Broadway campus, part of which is a century old, Sen. Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, said last week.

“In some regards, it’s probably cheaper for the company to just keep paying taxes and let (the buildings) sit there,” Wyss said.

[…] Wyss worked at GE from 1961 until he retired in 2000 and spent most of that time in the company’s marketing operation. He said that in 1969 GE employed 10,000 people in Fort Wayne.

“To think that that many jobs were lost over 40 years, that’s amazing,” Wyss said last week.

This summer, GE announced that it would spin off its motors operation along with its appliance business and other operations early in 2009. That had local officials worried about the future of the company’s diminished presence in Fort Wayne.

Keeping the operation with the parent company appears to mean that for now it won’t change – for better or worse.

“We’re going to continue operations as is,” Stengel said.


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