'Get back in the game'
GE's Immelt urges American manufacturing to develop research, investment and innovation
General Electric chairman Jeffrey Immelt told a Detroit-area group last week that American manufacturing can regain its leadership role in the world by following the example of emerging manufactuirng economies.
According to the Associated Press, Immelt told the Economic Club of Detroit that the United States had lost its edge in innovation, and that had led to a shift to a service-based economy.
"We would do much better to observe the example of China. They've been growing fast because they invest in technology and they make things. They have no intention of letting up in manufacturing in order to evolve into a service economy. America has to get back in that game."
General Electric announced plans Friday to open an advanced manufacturing technology and software center in Michigan that could create more than 1,100 job in the coming years.
The center will include a research and development facility and "will house scientists and engineers who will develop next generation manufacturing technologies for GE's leading renewable energy, aircraft engine, gas turbine and other high-technology products," GE said in a statement.
The center, which is expected to open later this year, will be located at the Visteon Village about 25 miles from Detroit.
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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey