General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt, right, waits for the start of the company's annual shareholders meeting, Wednesday, April 23, 2008, in Erie, Pa. Immelt is telling shareholders that the economy is the toughest it's been since 2001 and that the U.S. is facing the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
General Electric Co. said Friday it will build a $100 million manufacturing technology center in Michigan that will eventually employ about 1,200 workers.
The Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center will include a GE research and development facility with scientists and engineers who will develop manufacturing technologies for GE's renewable energy, aircraft engine, gas turbine and other products.
The center, which is expected to open later this year in Van Buren Township, Mich., also will develop software, networking and other services.
Hiring is expected to begin later this year.
GE, which is based in Fairfield, Conn., says it will build a 100,000-square-foot facility to house the manufacturing center. The state of Michigan is providing $74 million in incentives over the next 12 years to support the center, which is expected to yield $146 million in income taxes and other revenue over the same period, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said.
Granholm, appearing with GE CEO Jeff Immelt on the CNBC cable network Friday, said the new center will bring high-skilled jobs to Michigan, which has been reeling from the recession and the downturn in the auto industry.
"These aren't just any old jobs," Granholm said.
At a news conference, Granholm and Immelt said prospective workers could likely come from the ranks of ex-auto industry employees.
"If we can tap into some of the great labor resources in the state, we will be headed for even more success," Immelt said.
The staff at the Michigan facility will join 2,800 employees at GE's four other research facilities in Munich, Shanghai, Niskayuna, N.Y. and Bangalore, India.