GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, is continuing its U.S. manufacturing expansion with a $5 million investment in its Selmer, Tennessee Monogram Refrigeration subsidiary to begin production of new Zoneline® vertical terminal air conditioners, or VTACs, commonly used in hotels and private residential facilities.
The new product line was formerly produced in Mexico, and the decision was made to reshore production closer to U.S. customers. The new investment will create the fifth assembly line at the plant and add 33 new jobs, bringing total employment to 465.
“At GE Appliances, investing in U.S. manufacturing brings us closer to our customers, making it easier to innovate to better suit their needs,” said Kristi Saathoff, senior director of product management for GE Appliances. “In moving manufacturing of this product line from Mexico to Tennessee, we shortened lead times and collaborated with customers to improve ease of installation and add WiFi-connected and diagnostic capabilities. The engineering and manufacturing teams in Tennessee and our Louisville, Ky. headquarters continue to find better ways to solve today’s most pressing challenges.”
“I’m extremely proud of the hardworking and close-knit team that we have here at Monogram Refrigeration,” said Ray Deming, Monogram vice president and plant manager. “Their commitment to serving our customers is unparalleled and is critical for future growth. We are glad to be a part of the GE Appliances family, which recognizes the value we bring to the company. Our employees and the entire McNairy County Region look forward to the continued success of Monogram Refrigeration.”
“We are thankful to GE Appliances for continuing to grow and invest in the Monogram Refrigeration plant in Selmer,” said Bob Rolfe, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “Monogram Refrigeration has been a valued corporate partner in McNairy County for nearly 40 years and as the county’s largest employer, we appreciate the company for creating additional high quality, family-wage jobs to support the community. We look forward to seeing what’s to come from GEA and Monogram in the years ahead.”
Innovation that matters
Through feedback from customers, the engineering team created the Zoneline® vertical air conditioner (VTAC model UltimateV10) to include features that will maximize the owner and operator experience by making installation significantly easier. And by adding SmartHQ™ Wi-Fi, we improved diagnostic capabilities and enabled remote product control and monitoring.
The Zoneline® VTAC product line eliminates the need for central air conditioning and minimizes costly and space-consuming ducting in new hotels and residential construction.
As more Americans look to travel, GE Appliances (GEA) is improving safety of hotel guests by making it possible to upgrade Zoneline® PTACs with an industry-exclusive ultra-violet (UV) light kit that will reduce airborne viruses as air passes through the unit.
GE Appliances continued growth in Tennessee
In 2018, two new assembly lines were built at Monogram Refrigeration to produce Zoneline® air conditioners for hotels and built-in Monogram® column-style refrigerators. These investments added 210 new jobs. The plant also manufactures other high-end refrigerators in the Monogram®, Café™ and GE Profile™ brands.
GE Appliances and its affiliates Monogram Refrigeration and Advanced Services Inc. (ASI), the company’s national customer service support center, employ more than 1,000 associates in Tennessee, an increase of 40% growth over the last three years. In addition, they buy from more than 62 Tennessee suppliers positively supporting communities across the state.
Supporting the Selmer community
In addition to the plant investment, GE Appliances is partnering with McNairy County Schools to launch the Skills Training Alliance for Youth (STAY) initiative.
This program will offer high school seniors seeking careers in advanced manufacturing part-time employment as they work to complete their high school graduation requirements.
In addition to hiring, training, and coaching up to 10 students per year, GEA will also invest $10,000 to cover certification fees and other expenses incurred by the students in the next four graduating classes.
GEA will also help make classrooms safer this fall with the donation of locally made Zoneline air conditioners featuring the new UV-C light kits that will reduce airborne viruses.