Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: Immelting Your Heart

"Jeff Immelt wants a radical transformation of GE" by Shirley Leung Globe Staff  April 17, 2017

It’s probably not completely fair to say that a deer changed the course of one of the world’s great companies, but one might assume that as Jeff Immelt stared out the window of his office in suburban Connecticut, he saw one too many.

He didn’t want to see deer. He wanted to see engineers, techies, kids with big ideas and sharp minds out to change the world.

Immelt didn’t want or need to change the world. He just wanted to change General Electric Co. and to change just about everything about it. Which in no small way explains why the chief executive officer of a famously staid conglomerate now works in a suite with exposed brick smack in the middle of the crowded Fort Point Channel district of Boston.

In the makeshift headquarters, the executive dining room has been replaced with common space that features free Jack’s Abby craft beer on tap.

You see, the company cofounded by Thomas Edison in 1892, that made its proudly generic name by producing achingly reliable light bulbs, refrigerators, and microwave ovens, now wants to be a tech company — an Apple for modern industry, bringing smarts and the power of the Internet to hulking gear like jet engines, turbines, and MRIs.

Immelt, Harvard MBA and a second-generation GE man, is close to completing a corporate transformation that is as radical as it is methodical, as essential to the company’s survival as Steve Jobs’s iPhone was to Apple’s.

What is going to happen to all us con$umers?

After 16 years at the helm, the GE Immelt has built is unrecognizable from the one he took over from his legendary predecessor, Jack Welch. Immelt has sold off signature parts of the company — plastics, appliances, NBC, and the bulk of a finance division so big it rivaled Wall Street banks. Consumer lighting — yes, those light bulbs — could be next.

What does that mean, more cheap s*** from China?

It is a brazen reshaping of one of America’s most stalwart companies, yet outside of business circles, Immelt is hardly a household name like Welch was. The Salem native was one of America’s first celebrity CEOs, presiding over GE during the frothy ’80s and ’90s. He earned the admiration of Wall Street by producing predictable profits and the antipathy of Main Street by ruthlessly cutting jobs.

Immelt has been the anti-Jack: the Midwestern math major who is partial to sweater vests, the guy who likes to drive his own car to work and park in public garages at night, the industrial titan whose subdued public persona exudes extreme competence more than charisma, and who has a talent for bringing out the best in the people who work for him.

On top of it all, he has had the unglamorous job of steering the company through sobering times, including cataclysmic events such as Sept. 11 and the Great Recession.

In uprooting the headquarters to Boston last August, Immelt might finally get to have as much fun running GE as Welch did. In May, the company will break ground on a $200 million futuristic complex overlooking the Fort Point Channel.

Immelt gets giddy over what many Bostonians take for granted, marveling how one city can be home to some of the world’s leading life sciences companies and teaching hospitals. He is beside himself when he thinks about the brainpower at the universities from MIT to Harvard, and the fact that all of this is just a 10-minute drive from his office door.

“That just kind of lets you see why being here matters,” he said in an interview at GE’s Boston office.

Or, put it another way, he was lonely out amid the tranquil lawns of GE’s Fairfield, Conn., compound, where the company had been headquartered since the ’70s.

Impatience on Wall Street

Life would be great for Immelt — if not for Wall Street. His vision banks on a long-term payoff, but shareholders are growing impatient.

While Welch notched astronomical returns over two decades, investors in Immelt’s GE would have made more by putting money in a plain-vanilla index fund.

Immelt recently said the company would tie executive bonuses to the performance of GE’s industrial operations, a step taken after discussions with Nelson Peltz, a big shareholder who is pressing GE for better returns.

When Immelt took the reins from Welch on Sept. 7, 2001, among the rookie CEO’s biggest concerns was getting out of his predecessor’s shadow. Neutron Jack was legend, Fortune magazine’s “Manager of the Century.” Love or hate him, everyone knew who Welch was — and who would want to be measured against his record?

But four days later none of that mattered after terrorists turned planes into weapons attacking the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Two GE employees were killed, a recession kicked in, and the company’s stock plummeted. GE’s aviation businesses — jet engines and commercial aircraft leasing —took a big blow with the world not knowing if flying would ever be the same again.

It isn't (unless you are from the privileged cla$$).

Later, when the 2008 recession hit, GE Capital, which had been producing more than half of the company’s operating profit, was battered just like the big banks it competed against. Along with companies such as Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, GE took a government lifeline to stabilize its finances and restore the confidence of investors and customers.

A lesser executive might have cratered, but Immelt came to the top job having been groomed from the day he landed at GE after graduating from Harvard Business School in 1982. He was a rising star at GE Plastics when Welch himself plucked him in 1989 to become president of consumer service for GE Appliances.

It was Immelt’s first big test, landing right in the middle of a massive recall of 3 million refrigerators with bad compressors.

He passed the test.


“I think Jeff is as skilled in crisis management as anyone in the country,” said New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

How would he know? The billionaire owner is among a cadre of Boston business power brokers Immelt has gotten to know through the years, including State Street CEO Jay Hooley, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, and Bain Capital chairman Steve Pagliuca.

Did you see the jersey he was wearing?

"Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca knew General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt wanted to use the company’s move to Boston as a way to help change its image and to boost its global profile as a digital industrial giant. So Pagliuca approached Immelt, an old friend from his Harvard Business School days, almost immediately after GE arrived in August with a proposition: Sign up as the Celtics’ first jersey sponsor, and also become a tech partner with the team, to take advantage of a new NBA rule allowing corporate logos on uniforms. The concept was unusual for GE. But Immelt was intrigued and passed the concept along to a couple of his top lieutenants. Executives at both organizations unveiled the results of the ensuing negotiations at a press conference Wednesday...."

When do the politicians start getting labeled?

Kraft formed a bond more than a decade ago with Immelt back when GE still owned NBC. Kraft headed the league’s broadcast committee, and Immelt wanted the network to air NFL games on Sunday nights. The two stitched a deal together.

But that’s not how Kraft came to know Immelt’s crisis management prowess. As Kraft and the Patriots became embroiled in the Spygate and Deflategate scandals in recent years, advice came from an unexpected place.

Immelt, who played football at Dartmouth College, makes it out to a Pats game with Kraft at least once a year. “He’s a real people person,” said Kraft.


So which game did he go to last year?

Innovation for survival

Every CEO talks about making his or her company more innovative, but for GE it’s a matter of survival. GE is a corporate mainstay, the only original stock left in the Dow Jones industrial index, which began tracking the performance of large public companies in 1896. It must succeed now in a world in which the only constant is change.

His task is monumental because GE is nothing like a startup; it’s a behemoth. Immelt has to find a way to bring along some 300,000 employees in 180 countries at a company that generated almost $124 billion in revenue last year.

Immelt’s first decade as CEO was spent fixing the house that Jack built. Immelt knew a lot of Welch’s tactics to drive growth would no longer work. The hardest breakup would be with GE Capital, which required shedding some $500 billion in assets.

Still, Immelt hasn’t been afraid to reshape GE through dramatic deals. He bought the power and grid business of French multinational Alstom in 2015 to expand GE’s holdings in that sector, and last year announced a deal for Houston oil services company Baker Hughes, doubling down on GE’s oil and gas business.

Related"General Electric Co. is expanding its focus on offshore drilling rig safety with a new business that will take over handling of massive underwater equipment designed to prevent well blowouts and oil spills." 

Now we will know who is responsible for the next Gulf Gusher, and they were also responsible for the deal with Iran.

Also see: General Electric to combine energy unit with Baker Hughes

Globe got scooped by WSJ and he thinks it's funny?

“He doesn’t accept the status quo,” said Brackett Denniston, who was GE’s longtime general counsel until he retired in 2015.

Coming to Boston was a way to show the world how serious GE is about transformation. When Bain cochairman Pagliuca first visited the new headquarters, he thought he was in the wrong place.

“I was shocked,” said Pagliuca, who was a Harvard MBA classmate of Immelt’s and has done business with GE through the years. “This felt like Silicon Valley.”

Immelt hasn’t done all this solely by imposing his will. Ben Shapiro, one of Immelt’s faculty advisers at Harvard Business School, recalls how his easygoing nature put classmates at ease. Immelt wasn’t the academic star of his class, or the hardest worker in that workaholic realm, but he was notably good with people.

“What impressed me the most about him is that he was a very good listener,” said Shapiro, now an emeritus professor of marketing. “Jeff had this good mixture of emotional IQ.”

He also, from an early age, recognized that success required unleashing the creative energies of everyone around him.

These days, as he tries to cement GE’s new image, Immelt at times can act more like a student of business than the leader of one of the biggest companies in the world.

Since moving to Boston, he has asked Sue Siegel, who oversees GE Ventures, the arm that invests and collaborates with startups, to convene dinner salons at the headquarters attended by local and national players.

The first one, in October, was on the future of work and was anchored by a presentation from the cofounders of Catalant, a Boston startup that received funding from GE Ventures in 2015. Catalant, which began as a class project at Harvard Business School in 2013, has created an online database of business expertise that helps companies find talent for specific projects.

Immelt invited about 15 senior executives from major companies, as well as Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria and Cambridge venture capitalist David Fialkow, whose General Catalyst firm is also an investor in Catalant.

Fialkow works with other big-name CEOs but had never met Immelt until that evening. What impressed Fialkow was Immelt’s command of the many GE businesses, while also knowing what his company is good at and what it isn’t.


Beyond the dinners, GE has hosted other local events to establish itself as a thought leader, including a hack-a-thon to dream up new ways to attack the opioid crisis and a forum to showcase its advanced manufacturing. The company has also become a sponsor of startup accelerator, MassChallenge, formed an alliance with MassRobotics, and swiftly inked partnerships with MIT and Northeastern.

Siegel, who has spent most of her career working in Silicon Valley, was wary about coming to GE nearly five years ago and wrestled with whether Immelt was committed to changing the company’s culture.

She has no doubts now. He routinely brings in new economy founders, such as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, to talk at leadership meetings. More surprising is that Immelt carves out time to regularly meet entrepreneurs who aren’t household names.

“He is wildly innovative, entrepreneurial and willing to try to new things,” said Pat Petitti, the CEO and one of the cofounders of Catalant. “You wouldn’t expect that to be the case.”

Massachusetts has stake

It’s not just GE shareholders who are anxious to see Jeff Immelt deliver results, but Massachusetts taxpayers. The state’s relocation package is worth as much as $125 million while the city agreed to give GE a $25 million break on property taxes.

Which they are using to help buy the property! Think of them as publicly funded real estate investments.

Critics have lined up, wondering why GE, a company with a stock market value of about $255 billion, needs any taxpayer help. Besides, the company has a reputation for taking advantage of laws to minimize its tax bills.


See"GE’s effective federal tax rate between 2008 and 2013, when its profit was about $34 billion, was negative 9 percent. Kind of makes our millions in subsidies seem pathetic, doesn’t it?"

You have to ask yourself WTF?

In his public appearances, Immelt is acutely aware of the need to show a return on investment for his new hometown. Upon its arrival, GE pledged $50 million in philanthropy over the next five years to community health centers, Boston public schools, and workforce training throughout the state.

That looks like a chump-change kickback to me, and it will most likely be $elf-$erving as well.

But Immelt sets the bar even higher than that. In his mind, Boston can lead the next digital revolution, the same one GE is trying to engineer. It’s as if he is willing us to think bigger....


Also seeSet to break ground on new HQ, GE has quickly made inroads into Boston’s business, philanthropic communities

Did you see to whom else she is talking?


The back $tory:

"Companies from other parts of the country don’t necessarily think of municipal boundaries “taking business away from another [local] city,” but to many out-of-state companies, the cities are all part of “Boston.” The approach probably will come as a relief to business leaders, who sometimes complain about differing rules and politics in each municipality. “It’s about time,” said David Begelfer of NAIOP Massachusetts, a commercial real estate trade group. “[Under Menino], if you could steal a company from Cambridge, you broke open the champagne. We need to have everyone together, saying ‘We’ve got one from South Carolina, break open the champagne.’ ”

Yeah, f*** South Carolina!

"Boston makes GE’s short list for new headquarters" by Shirley Leung and Jon Chesto Globe Staff  December 10, 2015

General Electric Co. is looking at sites in the Seaport District for a new global headquarters that could bring hundreds of high-paying jobs and give a civic boost to a city that has seen many of its corporate stalwarts swallowed up by out-of-town buyers.

The Boston area is on a short list of potential locations for the conglomerate — known for making everything from train engines to MRI machines — along with candidates including New York and Providence, according to people familiar with GE’s search.

Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh have been involved in the talks, the people said.

GE, based in Fairfield, Conn., would initially move roughly 500 jobs to the new location; it is unclear how many of those jobs would be filled by current employees who move with the company.

GE has been looking at a number of local sites, particularly in the waterfront section of South Boston.

They are “very much in the game.”

Various states have been jockeying for GE’s affections since chief executive Jeffrey Immelt announced in June that the company was going to look at options for headquarters outside of Connecticut. The company, which reported nearly $150 billion in revenue last year, has not ruled out staying in Fairfield, and a GE spokesman declined to comment on specifics about the search.

Massachusetts and Boston are not offering special tax breaks to lure GE beyond the incentives they normally offer companies, such as property tax relief and tax credits, people close to the process said.



"Sam Tyler, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, a fiscal watchdog, said he is also confident about the city’s ability to foot the bill. He noted that the city could take out bonds, find a way to wrangle some federal and state dollars, and even tap a portion of the city’s $106.7 million parking meter fund. That money is for parking meter purchases and maintenance but can be used for other transportation-related expenses, too."

They are also considering another Big Dig, too, but no, no special deals or anything out of the ordinary. Just parking meter money going to GE along with putting taxpayers further into debt with bonds.

Representatives of Baker and Walsh declined to comment.

Boston-area officials and their representatives have been aggressively pitching the idea that the city’s strength in innovation fits into Immelt’s new vision for GE — a company whose roots can be traced to Thomas Edison and his invention of the incandescent light bulb more than a century ago.

Immelt wants people to think of GE as a high-tech firm, not just an old-school industrial manufacturer.

That would play to Greater Boston’s reputation as a research and development hub for health care and technology, as well as a place where GE could easily recruit talent from the area’s numerous colleges and universities.

“We are well positioned to win this one,” said David Begelfer, chief executive of NAIOP Massachusetts, a commercial real estate trade group.

Pop open the champagne!

GE began looking to move out of Connecticut, where its headquarters office has been since the mid-1970s, after state legislators threatened to raise corporate taxes.

Yup, taxing the rich doesn't work, and Immelt was feeling lonely looking at the deer.

Immelt, in a widely cited letter to employees in June, said he had assembled a team to look into the company’s options “to relocate corporate HQ to another state with a more pro-business environment.”

Representatives for the company have kept tight-lipped about the finalists in the search. But Immelt has been frank about the reasons for looking outside of Connecticut.

“We’re a company that . . . doesn’t look for special deals, but we need an ecosystem that’s forward-looking, that’s future-looking,” he told the Business Council of Fairfield County last month, as reported by the Stamford Advocate.

New York has reportedly dangled a generous offer to entice the company. A spokesman for the city could not be reached for comment. Less clear is what Rhode Island could provide; an official there declined to comment.

In Massachusetts, municipalities can offer property tax breaks on construction worth millions of dollars in return for the promise of new jobs. And there are several tax-credit programs and grants for infrastructure work at the state level. Recent beneficiaries include IBM’s Watson Health division, awarded $2.5 million by the state to open a headquarters in Cambridge, and Amazon.com, which received a $3.25 million package for a new warehouse in Fall River.

Landing GE’s headquarters would be a coup for the region, where many marquee companies, Gillette to John Hancock, have been acquired by out-of-state competitors, while the acquisition of EMC Corp. is pending.

A Connecticut state representative, John Frey, said GE executives are worried that Connecticut’s budget is structurally out of balance and that taxes could rise in the future.

And they came to Taxachusetts?

And because the company would be moving only its corporate offices and not any manufacturing facilities, it would not be a complicated move, Frey said.

“We would hate to see them go, [but] it’s completely explainable why they would be going,” said state Senator Scott Frantz, another Fairfield County legislator, who added that he puts the odds at “better than 50-50” that GE will move.

GE already has a large presence in Massachusetts, with thousands of employees here.

The company’s most notable local ties include its manufacturing operations in Lynn, where it makes jet engines. GE has pared back its blue-collar workforce here over the years, most recently with the decision to close a valve factory in Avon next year, a move that will eliminate some 300 jobs.

More on that below.

But it has also been expanding certain business lines. Over the summer, GE Healthcare Life Sciences started relocating its US headquarters from New Jersey to Marlborough. And the company said in October that it would base a new division, focused on lighting and energy, in a to-be-announced location in the Boston area.

“GE is not a stranger here in Massachusetts,” said Susan Houston, executive director of MassEcon, a Watertown-based organization that helps recruit businesses into the state. “That is to our advantage.”


"The motto, the history — GE, it’s time to come home" by Shirley Leung Globe Columnist  December 11, 2015

Let’s be clear: GE would be just another Fortune 100 company in New York, and you’ll always play second fiddle to Wall Street (think Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase). The Big Apple is ruled by financiers in their flashy suits, not engineers with their pocket protectors.

But here in Boston, GE would be the biggest fish our pond has ever seen. Boston would become a GE company town.

Now I know moving can be such a pain. Uprooting some 500 employees and their families from Fairfield, Conn., is never easy. Inertia may set in, even nostalgia for the Nutmeg State, where GE has been based for four decades.

But remember the rigamarole Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and the Legislature just put you and other companies like yours through. In June, lawmakers threatened to raise corporate taxes, which made you start considering options outside the state. And now that you’re down this path — and you’re looking pretty seriously at Boston and New York — Connecticut politicians desperately want you to stay and passed a new budget this week rolling back the tax hikes.

Can you really trust those people in Hartford? Let me tell you who’s in charge in Massachusetts. A Republican named Charlie Baker who is a fiscal conservative, doesn’t like to raise taxes, and holds an MBA. He gets the business world.

Baker also happens to be the most popular governor in the country, with a 74 percent approval rating, according to a poll by digital media company Morning Consult. By comparison, the same poll showed that Malloy, a Democrat, garnered a 36 percent approval rating, among the lowest in the country.

But truth be told, Boston also needs GE. Over the years, our marquee companies have been swallowed up by out-of-state buyers. FleetBoston, nee Bank of Boston, is now owned by Bank of America. John Hancock is no longer all American, acquired by Canada’s Manulife. Filene’s, the storied department store brand, vanished when the company that owns Macy’s bought it. Gillette is now part of Procter & Gamble. And our biggest tech company, EMC, just got acquired by Dell.

Having corporate headquarters here matter. It’s that much easier for chief executives and companies to be civic players in their hometowns supporting everything from museums to homeless shelters. And boy does this town need more companies to step up. We learned this week not only that David Mugar, the impresario behind the annual Fourth of July Boston Pops concert and fireworks on the Esplanade, will be retiring and doing his last show in 2016, but that the beloved tradition still lacks a sponsor.

Boston insurer Liberty Mutual, after a decade, ended its financial support last year, and Mugar is still looking for someone to pick up the $2.75 million cost of producing the extravaganza that draws 500,000 visitors to the banks of the Charles River.

That’s not all. Next year Citigroup will be ending its multimillion-dollar sponsorship of the Citi Performing Arts Center — a nonprofit that operates the Citi Wang Theatre and Citi Shubert Theatre. And First Night, Boston’s arts-focused New Year’s Eve celebration, has struggled to raise money from the private sector.

Lastly, let me appeal to your sense of history. General Electric was formed in 1892, the merger of two rival electrical companies — Thomson-Houston Co. and Edison General Electric Co. Thomson-Houston was based in Lynn, where GE maintains a plant that makes jet engines. So moving GE’s headquarters to Massachusetts is really a homecoming.

Isn’t it time GE come home?


By this time her fellatio has made me limp.

"Favorable Mass. taxes a factor in GE’s hunt; State is 25th on ranking of costs" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff  December 11, 2015

In launching a search for a new home for General Electric Co., CEO Jeffrey Immelt said he’d like to see his Connecticut company in a state with a “more pro-business environment.”

Does that mean that Massachusetts, once nicknamed “Taxachusetts,” is now seen as a business-friendly state?

The Boston area is on the short list of contenders for the headquarters and its 800 people, as GE’s search focuses on high-cost states in the Northeast. In relation to those states, Massachusetts compares favorably on its business tax climate.

For all the annual drama that surrounds the state budget, Massachusetts’ finances are much more stable than Connecticut’s.

Are they?

Notice there is no mention of the corporate welfare; in fact, the Globe blames Trump (ha-ha-ha-ha-ha)!

What they mean by $table is the tax loot flows no matter what. That's first priority on Beacon Hill -- well, second priority anyway.

Immelt also wants to find an innovation “ecosystem” to be part of, and the Boston area fits that definition easily, with its renowned universities and various clusters of high-tech firms.

And the state has come a long way from the days of Taxachusetts. The Tax Foundation, a Washington think tank, last month ranked Massachusetts 25th out of the 50 states, based on tax climates. Connecticut, as well as New York and Rhode Island — two other states under consideration by GE — all ranked in the bottom 10.

“Taxes are certainly not the only factors that businesses look at, or every business would locate in the lowest-tax states,” said Jared Walczak, a policy analyst at the think tank. “Nonetheless, it certainly is driving GE to look at other states right now, and they are looking at states that would provide more favorable tax systems for them.”

The Tax Foundation ranks Massachusetts’ income and sales tax policies as more competitive than those of its two neighbors to the immediate south and west, the main reasons why the state has a stronger overall ranking. Walczak, however, notes that those factors play a bigger role in the total tax bill for smaller companies, particularly those whose profits are taxed through their individual owners and not through the corporations. On the other hand, a company like GE would see a lower income tax as a quality-of-life benefit for executives and employees.

Connecticut’s Legislature moderated its latest package of tax increases — the one that sent Immelt on a property hunt — in special sessions in late June and earlier this week. But business leaders say the changes were modest.

The tax system in Connecticut isn’t the only issue. There’s also a looming state budget deficit, one that could total $1.7 billion in two years, according to the state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis. That could force Connecticut lawmakers to consider raising taxes again.

“I think GE and every other company in Connecticut is concerned about that,” said Joe Brennan, chief executive of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.

Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said Connecticut lawmakers earlier this week tempered one of the big tax changes that had angered GE in June, when Immelt went public with his desire to relocate.

But fiscal unpredictability remains a big problem there, McAnneny said, with billions of dollars’ worth of tax increases approved in the past seven years and a big budget deficit still looming on the horizon.

In contrast, “Massachusetts has really balanced its budget, and for the most part kept taxes under control,” said Chris Geehern, executive vice president at Associated Industries of Massachusetts. “The one thing that business people like more than anything is fiscal predictability.”

Oh, yeah? Then why the budget mess every year?

Logan International Airport’s proximity to downtown Boston and its numerous international flights also can make the city more appealing for a corporate headquarters than other places GE is considering, said George McCarthy, president of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge.

And then there are the incentives that states can tailor to employers. This year, Massachusetts offered tax incentive packages valued at $3.25 million for Amazon.com Inc. and $2.5 million for International Business Machines Corp.

Amazon is like the richest company in the world, and I guess IBM needs the money

Related: Siemens Gets State Tax Break 

Do they REALLY need it?

Other states have their own incentive programs aimed at enticing companies to move or to expand within their borders. In Rhode Island, new companies can now receive tax credits of up to $7,500 per job, per year, and state officials recently created a $25 million fund to finance projects in a redevelopment district near downtown Providence.

Yeah, how did that work out for you?

Even so, the memory of the 38 Studios debacle — in which Rhode Island awarded a $75 million loan guarantee to a computer game company that later failed — has not faded. John C. Simmons, of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, a taxpayer watchdog group, predicts that Rhode Island won’t throw money at a company like GE the way New York might.

His prediction was wrong

See: "Rhode Island officials expect to provide up to $5.65 million in public incentives over 10 years to reward GE for bringing the 100 jobs. A spokeswoman said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo expects Rhode Island will get back more than double that in state revenues over 12 years...." 

Oh, they are "incentives" now.

David Seiden, a relocation specialist at Citrin Cooperman in New York, said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has the resources to “sweeten the pot” significantly to remain a front-runner in the quest for GE. But he said Connecticut’s recent tax changes may be enough to persuade GE to stay put in Fairfield, about 50 miles from Wall Street.


It’s hard to calculate how much of a boost in state income GE could bring, in part because of the complexities of corporate taxation and because states don’t typically disclose individual companies’ tax payments.

GE is also known for its skills at finding corporate tax advantages. It often pays minimal corporate income taxes to states, said Greg LeRoy, the executive director of Good Jobs First, a Washington-based research group.

“It’s a very heavily subsidized company, on state, local and federal [levels],” LeRoy said.

Meanwhile, schools are falling apart, roads and bridges are crumbling, the state doesn't have enough money for health care, etc, etc, etc!

As for cost of living for individual employees, it’s costly to live in Massachusetts — but it’s also costly to live in Connecticut and other competing states.

The company reportedly employs about 800 at its headquarters in Fairfield, though about 500 are expected to move initially. Most of those people, presumably, would be paying their state income taxes to Massachusetts if GE comes here.

In addition, GE would probably become a major donor to local philanthropic efforts and a bigger player in the area’s civic life. 

Kickbacks. $elf-$erving kickbacks.

Michael Goodman, a public policy professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus, said that GE’s moving here would also provide a boost to the state’s prestige, particularly in business circles.

“It would be a big symbolic win for the state . . . having one of the world’s largest and most successful firms,” Goodman said.

Can you eat $ymbolism and pre$tige?

If not I don't want them.



Study says state lags in growing ‘super-scale’ firms
GE delays its headquarters decision until January
GE decision on Seaport move expected this month
Why GE’s next headquarters address will be Boston

Because they aren't moving to Belgium, that's for $ure.

"Boston submits formal bid for GE headquarters" by Shirley Leung and Jon Chesto Globe Staff  January 12, 2016

The city of Boston and the state have submitted their formal proposal to bring General Electric Co.’s world headquarters to Boston, and some participants in the process are hopeful about the region’s prospects, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

If GE does move to Boston, it would probably provide a massive psychic boost, on top of an economic lift, to the city, highlighting the burgeoning high-tech climate in the state’s business community.

The company began looking to move out of Connecticut last year after state legislators threatened to raise corporate taxes. Chief executive Jeffrey Immelt, in a widely cited letter to employees in June, said he had assembled a team to look into the company’s options “to relocate corporate HQ to another state with a more pro-business environment.”

Representatives for the company have been tight-lipped about the finalists in the search. Other cities that have been or are being considered by GE include New York, Providence, and Atlanta.

“I would say the common thinking today is that Connecticut comes in third place, at the highest,” said Scott Frantz, a Republican state senator from Fairfield County.

While the company has not ruled out staying in Fairfield, Immelt has been frank about the reasons for looking elsewhere.

“We’re a company that . . . doesn’t look for special deals, but we need an ecosystem that’s forward-looking, that’s future-looking,” he told the Business Council of Fairfield County in November, as reported by the Stamford Advocate.

They will take them if you throw them at them.

Boston and state officials have been in frequent discussions over the past weeks with each other and with GE to nail down details.


"GE confirms it’s heading to Boston" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff  January 13, 2016

General Electric on Wednesday announced it will move its headquarters to Boston, making the iconic industrial giant the biggest company ever to relocate to the city and cementing the region’s reputation as a magnet for innovation.

The decision by GE to move its headquarters — and deliver about 800 jobs — from suburban Connecticut to the Seaport District follows a feverish campaign by Massachusetts officials, who beat out New York, Providence, and several other cities.

At least they will be bringing jobs home.

City and state officials are offering what could be one of the richest incentive deals in the state’s history — together valued at as much as $145 million — to lure the company here.

RelatedMoody’s endorses Hub’s GE tax breaks

That puts me in bad mood.

But GE officials pointed to Greater Boston’s concentration of elite universities and nimble tech firms as the main draw.

“We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations,” chief executive Jeffrey R. Immelt said in a statement.

Then you will give back the tax money seeing the budget trouble we are in?

Immelt is in the midst of a protracted effort to transform the 124-year-old company, selling most of its finance businesses to focus on industrial lines such as power and clean energy, aviation, and health sciences. Many of those sectors are becoming increasingly reliant on advanced software and communications technology.

GE, which has a market value of nearly $290 billion, said it will move some employees to a temporary space in Boston starting this summer. The full move from Fairfield, Conn., will take place in several steps through 2018.

It’s a major victory for Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh, whose aides worked closely together since the summer to bring GE to the area. The city has seen many of its biggest companies swallowed up by out-of-town buyers, and the state has labored hard to shed the “Taxachusetts” label.

The company had been expected to issue its statement about the move on Thursday, but confirmed the relocation hours after it was first reported by The Boston Globe.

GE has not yet picked a site for its new offices but is focused on the South Boston Waterfront. One site that had been considered is on Summer Street, overlooking Fort Point Channel; another is owned by the Massachusetts Port Authority, next to the MBTA’s World Trade Center Station on the Silver Line. The company is also weighing other sites in the Seaport, an area that’s also branded as the Innovation District.

The exact size of the incentives will depend on the property the company picks.

City officials said they are prepared to offer as much as $25 million in property tax relief.

And just how do they plan to make that up(!!!!!)?

The state package could be valued as high as $120 million and could include a variety of benefits, such as grants, tax incentives, infrastructure improvements, and help with real estate acquisition costs.

How are the state of schools in Bo$ton? How is that lead in the water stuff?

Walsh said the expected property tax revenue that will come to the city will far outweigh what it gives up in future taxes.

They always say that and it doesn't happen.

I know they will be paying tens of millions in taxes, but....

"Boston will give $25 million in property tax relief [as] GE is expected to pay more than $1 million a year, on average, in property taxes, over the 20-year term of the deal with Boston."

That means they are already out $5 million, and it is a "GE is a $145m bet,"and we won't know if it is a success or not (well, we will/do, but.... bad form to say so). The rents have been rising so Boston officials will lease them the property rent-free for 20 yearsbefore they move to Florida

Oh, yeah, btw, GE has a history of disputing tax bills

RelatedChief vows GE will make major civic contributions

As they fight taxes.

“We had enough on the table to be competitive,” said Jay Ash, Baker’s secretary of economic development. “[But] the ecosystem that we have here in Massachusetts to support innovation is what won us this prize.”

He's a “big 'Seinfeld' guy.”

The company comes with plenty of baggage, too.

Many people remember GE’s long-ago pollution of the Housatonic and Hudson rivers, contamination that is taking decades to clean up.

GE disputed the case and opposed cleaning up the pollution (they also designed faulty nuclear reactors like the one at Fukushima).

At least they add to the state's prestige.

The conglomerate is also known for its skill in finding tax advantages: Critics say it often pays minimal corporate taxes in the states where it does business.

Pays minimal? How about none while getting a getting a big fat tax check?

“It’s hard to see how taxes could be part of this calculus, since GE has been successful in reducing its state taxes to zero nationwide,” said Matthew Gardner, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in Washington. “I think they, in all likelihood, would have picked Boston anyway. They were just going to see if they could get a little extra something for doing it.”

The Globe isn't letting that spoil the $ymboli$m.

At nearly $130 billion a year in revenue, GE ranks eighth on the Fortune 500 and would be far and away the largest publicly traded company based in Massachusetts.

The company already employs nearly 5,000 people in this state, out of a global workforce of more than 350,000.

The decision to leave Connecticut caused widespread disappointment in that state.

“Taken as a whole, there is no denying that Connecticut has had more good days than days like today,” Governor Dannel Malloy said in a statement.

Well, the Connecticut tax increase was the last straw and they can argue over who lost GE, but the key question now is what's next

Governor beaten out by a Mayor, wow.

In the end, many observers said the competition came down to a classic rivalry, New York versus Boston. This time, at least, Boston won.

“I don’t think you can underestimate psychologically how important of a win this is for the state,” said Jerry Sargent, the head of Citizens Bank’s middle-market business.

What does GE’s headquarters bring? There are the jobs, for sure. About 800 people work at the Fairfield headquarters. Its new Boston office will include 200 corporate jobs and about 600 tech-oriented jobs: designers, programmers and the like. Many of the jobs will come from Fairfield, but others will come from other locations or be new to the company.

GE said it will sell the Fairfield complex and its 30 Rockefeller Plaza offices in New York City to help pay for the move.

Those new jobs alone won’t be a game-changer for Boston. The state usually adds much more than that in any given month.

But there’s the inevitable ripple effect: GE is expected to be a draw for other technology companies, particularly those in the “Internet of Things” sector that specialize in software and hardware to connect various devices.

There’s also the promise of philanthropy, a new corporate titan to add its muscle to local civic affairs.

And then there are the bragging rights. Landing one of the world’s biggest companies unfurls a giant banner, one that essentially says “We’re open for business” to the world.

“It’s more than hometown pride,” Jim Rooney, chief executive of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, said in an e-mail. “Boston is increasingly expanding its global influence, and the talent is already here. GE will be able to recruit an innovation workforce that already has a T pass.”

GE had been expanding in other ways in Massachusetts, even before this announcement. The company opened a new US headquarters for its Healthcare Life Sciences unit in Marlborough last year, bringing hundreds of jobs. And in October, GE unveiled plans to create a division focused on lighting and energy technology that would be based in this area.

But GE is closing down a valve factory in Avon, eliminating roughly 300 local, largely blue-collar jobs — and shifting the work that’s done there to a new plant in Florida.

Oh, WOW!!

GE’s quest for a new global headquarters can be traced back to a decision by Connecticut officials last spring to significantly change business tax policies, to help fill a big state budget gap.

Whacha gonna do, Mass?

That move prompted Immelt in June to write an irked memo to GE employees, saying that the unfriendly business climate had prompted his leadership team to consider moving the headquarters out of state.

“It was a tipping point over several years of concern over the lack of predictability of what the [business] environment was going to be in Connecticut,” said Joe Brennan, chief executive of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.

The more I get into this the more my heart is being hardened against these a$$holes.

GE wasn’t the only big company that was upset. It was, however, the only one to publicly suggest that it could be headed elsewhere.

Leaders in Boston City Hall took notice, almost immediately. “The minute we heard GE was looking to explore their options, we reached out to GE that day,” Walsh said in an interview Wednesday.

Boston-area business and political leaders together made their case to GE executives at Tresca, a North End restaurant, in September. State and city officials said they believe this united front impressed the company.

Despite its older “Taxachusetts” reputation, Massachusetts actually ranks in the middle of the states when it comes to business taxes. The Tax Foundation, a Washington think tank, in November ranked Massachusetts 25th. Connecticut was 44th.

But in the end, it was Boston’s tech-savvy workforce and the area’s deep bench of universities that Immelt chose to highlight in Wednesday’s announcement.

“It’s really exciting for the city to have a company like that validate Boston as a tech center,” said Bill Wagner, chief executive of LogMeIn, one of the largest tech companies on the South Boston Waterfront. “They’re moving into the perfect place to really rebrand the whole company to be more of a forward-looking technology company.”


They sure painted a bright picture, huh?

"Winning GE: Better than the Olympics" by Shirley Leung Globe Staff  January 13, 2016

This is better than hosting the Olympics.

No controversy over potential cost overruns, or whether taxpayers will be on the hook for billions of dollars. No worries about traffic on the Southeast Expressway, or whether an aging T can handle throngs of visitors. No collective hand-wringing over whether the pain of throwing what amounts to a three-week party would be worth it all.

General Electric moving its headquarters to Boston is all glory, giving us a chance to step onto a global stage on our own terms. The world can now mention Boston in the same sentence as Silicon Valley when talking about where the future is being built.

This is big. It’s about so much more than bringing a few hundred high-paying corporate jobs. If we play this right and recognize the significance of the moment Boston became a GE company town, we will be able to write the next great business chapter of our region....

She takes it all, doesn't she?


It's the perfect fit.

More Globe braying about them:

"Winning GE’s headquarters takes some sting out of EMC sell-off" by Hiawatha Bray
Globe Staff, 7 days ago

Think of the recent TV commercial where the geeky kid tells his parents that he’s landed a software job at GE, and the proud papa offers his son a sledgehammer. The ad’s lame, but it drives home the point. GE raked in $149 billion in revenue in fiscal 2014, and $4 billion of it came from software. That was just 2.6 percent of total revenue, but if it were a stand-alone company, GE’s software business would be one of the 10 biggest on earth.

And by 2020, GE expects annual software revenues to hit $20 billion.

That’s because the company is putting digital intelligence and communications systems into virtually everything it builds. GE calls it the Industrial Internet. It’s the heavy-duty version of the Internet of Things, where smart devices share information and try to meet our needs before we know what they are.

And if you’re building an Internet of Things company, where better than here? The very concept was born right across the river, at MIT. And with first-rate companies in robotics, data security, and the life sciences, Greater Boston is an ideal hub for the ultimate global network.

For consumers, the Internet of Things is all about cars that turn up your furnace when you’re still two miles from home, or washing machines that automatically order more soap from Amazon.com. The Industrial Internet applies the same thinking to the biggest, most complex machines that humans make, in a bid to make them vastly more efficient and reliable.

“The payoff is much bigger from those things than controlling the thermostat in your house,” said Stuart Madnick, professor of information technology at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge.

Think of a wind turbine for generating clean electricity. GE makes them, you know, and stuffs them with all kinds of sensors to measure windspeed, torque, vibration, acceleration — thousands of data points, captured second by second. It’s all pumped to a remote data center and studied, to fine-tune the turbine’s performance. GE found it can get 5 percent more power per turbine that way.

Or think about your next flight to Las Vegas. A GE jet engine can transmit a constant flow of data about temperatures, pressures and fuel consumption. This information could provide early warning of a mechanical defect long before it becomes a problem. Airlines can also use the data to save millions of dollars in fuel costs, by tweaking each plane’s speed and flight path.

Go down the list of GE products — locomotives, medical imaging, electric generators, oil and gas drilling systems — and apply the Industrial Internet to every one of them. The potential benefits easily run into billions of dollars.

So do the risks. GE is connecting the world’s most vital systems to notoriously insecure digital networks.


“They’re trying to do things that have never been done before,” frets Madnick. “With all these challenges, cybersecurity is last on the list.” He points to the hacker attack on the Ukrainian power grid last month, which left 80,000 people in the dark. “I think the worst is yet to come,” Madnick said.

Ooooh.... kay.

GE is well aware of the risk. In 2014, it acquired Wurldtech, a Canadian company that specializes in locking down industrial networks. And in Greater Boston, home to companies like RSA Security, Rapid7, and Veracode, there’s a lot of world class data security talent a few T stops away.

Many of the world’s biggest companies share GE’s Industrial Internet vision. Most visible, perhaps, is IBM, which for years has been talking up software for “building a smarter planet.” But while IBM may know a lot more about software than GE, it’s largely lobotomized when it comes to heavy manufacturing. Big Blue still makes its classic mainframe computers, but that’s about it. Meanwhile, GE is building an empire of code-slinging, number-crunching brainiacs, but continues to purchase steel by the ton.

It appears that about 600 of the 800 GE personnel coming to town will be serious product geeks, working in markets where Boston already has plenty of muscle, like robotics and life sciences.The company will also host an incubator to co-develop new products with customers and local entrepreneurs. What’s next? A full fledged research and development lab? GE has certainly come to the right place.

And at the perfect moment, too. It’s too bad about EMC, but bringing GE to Boston is an excellent consolation prize. Now . . . what will it take to land Google?



"EMC Corp. reported first-quarter sales and profit that fell short of analysts’ estimates in a slowing market for storage devices, but the company said its $67 billion takeover by Dell Inc. was on track. First-quarter profit excluding certain items was 31 cents a share, EMC said in a filing Wednesday. Revenue was little changed from a year earlier at $5.48 billion. Analysts on average had projected profit of 33 cents and sales of $5.63 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."

Looks like the terminator was right.

"GE and the corruption of crony capitalism" by Jeff Jacoby Globe Columnist  January 20, 2016

Have you ever paid someone to punch a victim in the stomach? If you’re a Massachusetts taxpayer, you have now.

To induce GE to relocate to Boston, Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh offered to cross the corporate behemoth’s palm with silver — lots of silver. The package of incentives underwritten by Bay State taxpayers is expected eventually to total more than $150 million in direct subsidies, tax abatements, training funds, site improvements, and property acquisition costs. That means that General Electric — a conglomerate with roughly $150 billion in annual revenues — will siphon $188,000 out of the public treasury for each job it proposes to move to Boston.

“We won Powerball today,” the mayor exulted to reporters when the news broke last week. That might be true in some alternate universe where Powerball winners fork over a jackpot rather than collect one. In our universe, however, when government spends huge honking sums of taxpayer dollars on corporate welfare, it hasn’t won a thing. It has wagered public money for the benefit of a private company, in the process penalizing other companies by forcing them to subsidize their competitors. The politicians covet the power and glory that come with making those wagers. But their track record is terrible, and labeling their reckless gambles “investments” changes nothing.

“This will be a good investment for Massachusetts and . . . Boston,” says Baker, rationalizing the offer of a fortune in public funds to influence a corporation’s private business decision. “The tools that we’ll be using are the same tools that have been in place for a very long time and have been used by prior administrations.”

No kidding. Prior administrations played the same game, placing losing bets on Organogenesis and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, on Evergreen Solar and Intel Corp., on Nortel Networks and Fidelity Investments. Again and again, Beacon Hill doles out subsidies, tax breaks, and other bribes to lure out-of-state companies to Massachusetts or persuade in-state firms not to leave. Again and again, the giveaways fail to produce the intended results. Again and again, politicians swear they’ve learned their lesson. Then along comes another company, promising the moon in exchange for “incentives,” and the taxpayers get ripped off once more.

Coaxing GE to Massachusetts via perks and favoritism isn’t legitimate economic development. It’s a corrupting shell game. It compels Bay State taxpayers to enrich a vast multinational, while knowingly inflicting pain on their neighbors in Connecticut. Baker and Walsh are taking bows, but their crony capitalism is nothing to cheer....


Others were more muted in their criticism as the relationship (companies with more diverse workforces deliver higher returns to investors) reaches a turning point. Everything has come full circle as part of a national trend. The whole thing is coming down as earnings go up:

"In Lynn, GE workers wonder what move will mean" by Yvonne Abraham Globe Columnist  January 23, 2016

LYNN — It’s a long way from the Seaport and a gleaming new headquarters.

Union officials from the General Electric aviation plant in Lynn gathered in the down-at-the-heel offices of Local 201 on Thursday afternoon. Twelve miles away, some are celebrating GE’s choice of Boston for its new headquarters, hoping it will prompt a solution to Seaport gridlock, or finally make the city “world class,” whatever that means. Others wonder what the heck GE could possibly bring to town that could justify the unprecedented taxpayer-funded red carpet thrown down for them. (Really, a helipad? Does no one get the awful optics of providing for corporate chieftains’ choppers when the plebs use an underfunded, basket case of a transit system?)

In Lynn, workers don’t know what to think. Will nearby bosses be more likely to preserve their high-skilled jobs? Or will they have more cover to erase them?

“There will be more . . . donations to charity, that allows them to lay us off without looking bad,” predicted Pete Capano, union president.

There are some hopeful signs, like the solar farm planned for the plant, which seems like a sign of commitment. On the other hand, GE has a long track record of protecting its shareholders over its employees — moving operations to other states, or countries, to take advantage of lower wages. “Ideally you’d have every plant you own on a barge,” former CEO Jack Welch once said, as if there were no actual people involved.

Nuke plants, too -- and every worker would be a robot.

Sorry, but the privileged cla$$ is sick.

But along the way, thousands of those people have been laid off. This year, GE will close its valve factory in Avon, leaving 300 blue-collar workers without jobs, and move the work to Florida. There will be new white-collar jobs at a GE Healthcare headquarters in Marlborough, but that doesn’t give anyone in Avon any comfort — especially now that their tax dollars are subsidizing their former employer’s move to Boston (and away from Connecticut, where others will suffer). On Friday, GE announced it will aggressively restructure in 2016. Translation: Workers, watch out!

But hey, that’s the way it goes, especially when it comes to manufacturing. To stay competitive, Local 201 leaders made many concessions, selling them to members on the company’s promise to bring new jobs to Lynn. Which haven’t arrived yet.

“It reminds me of that guy: ‘I got your dollar!’ But it’s on a rope, and he keeps pulling it away,” said Jay Walsh, a plumber at the plant.

The workers have to play by the new rules. Even though the company they work for is masterful at getting around them. GE’s effective federal tax rate between 2008 and 2013, when its profit was about $34 billion, was negative 9 percent. Kind of makes our millions in subsidies seem pathetic, doesn’t it? 

Means they paid no tax, were given tax loot subsidies, and no it doesn't make the millions seem pathetic. There is a lot that could be done with them.

And this company, so adept at avoiding taxes, has also benefited from immense government subsidies — a whopping $550 million from state and local coffers since 1992, and almost a billion in federal tax credits since 2000, according to Good Jobs First, a D.C. nonprofit that monitors such incentives.

“There are market distortions going on when a company is this deeply into the public trough,” said executive director Greg LeRoy. “The company gains a big taxpayer-fueled advantage over competitors.”

But why should GE obey the market if it doesn’t have to? The only people at the mercy of the market are those without resources to get around it — like the workers in Lynn. Chumps!


Well, General Electric Co. chief executive Jeff Immelt is a Republican who says he will stand with his employees and he has seen the Trump magic before!

 In fact, “GE would be a beneficiary’’ of Trump's infrastructure plan.

Also see: 

"GE has announced plans to create 160 Chicago-area jobs focused on digital advancements in transportation and health care. General Electric Co. announced Tuesday the selection of Chicago for the lead office of GE Transportation’s Digital Solutions business, which will employ 100. GE also will create 60 jobs in its digital health care business in suburban Barrington. Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the decision ‘‘a tremendous vote of confidence’’ in the city’s future. The $130 billion global industrial company announced in January it was relocating its headquarters from Fairfield, Conn., to Boston’s Seaport District. GE employs more than 2,000 in the Chicago area and had considered Chicago as its headquarters before deciding on Boston. Boston offered the company up to $25 million in direct property tax relief and other incentives."


GE’s Avon valve factory up for sale

GE cutting 59 engineering jobs in Lynn

Globe almost missed that, and they hired back a handful.

Yes, the focus is now on planes, trains, and . . . software, along with life sciences. It's a huge change to heavy industry, but I'm sure it's a good decision even if they have lost their identity.

"Aging workforce, skills gap strain N.H. manufacturing" by Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press  August 01, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. — In a small town just south of New Hampshire’s capital, General Electric runs two plants filled with workers building jet engines for the world’s leading airlines.

With 800 workers, GE Aviation is the largest employer in town. But in the next five to 10 years, about a third of those workers are expected to retire. The company is scrambling not only to fill those jobs, but to find workers with the skills to take on jobs that are becoming ever more technologically advanced.

I know some folks in Avon.... SIGH!

It’s a problem that’s expected to play out across the region and the country over the next decade, driven in part by the growth of the economy and a rash of retirements among baby boomers.

New Hampshire’s 2.8 percent unemployment rate, one of the lowest in the nation, means the labor pool is already shallow.

All this crap about not enough workers!

‘‘We’re having to rebuild the entire pipeline of workers,’’ said Katrina Evans, assistant director of the state’s Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau. ‘‘It’s not even so much a skills mismatch as it is a warm body mismatch.’’

Sick of the excuses yet?

Nationally, a 2015 report from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte said that the skills gap ‘‘is real, and it is substantial,’’ noting that over the next decade, 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will have to be filled and that the skills gap means that 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled.

Or the robot will replace you.

Of the CEOs surveyed for the report, 82 percent said that the skills gap would affect their ability to meet customer demands, and 78 percent said it would affect their ability to implement new technologies and increase productivity.

‘‘The basic consensus at this point is that the shortage of skilled labor is so severe that it’s actually affecting the ability of companies to grow,’’ said Val Zanchuk, a manufacturing executive and chairman of a new statewide effort to bridge the skills gap, but some experts think the talk of a nationwide skills gap is overblown.

This is the crap they are shoveling to cover for the $hit economy.

Elise Gould, senior economist at the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, said federal jobs data show there are two unemployed manufacturing workers for every available job. She said employers looking for workers could be doing more to train available workers or attract more talent by offering higher wages.

‘‘Actually, there’s a lot of unemployed workers in that field that you’re trying to hire in,’’ she said, noting that she did not have specific data on New Hampshire’s manufacturing sector.

They would rather hire illegals or refugees.

New Hampshire and several other states in the region aren’t waiting for the debate to play itself out.

Governor Maggie Hassan announced this month the creation of the ‘‘manufacturing sector partnership,’’ an initiative to bring manufacturing companies to the table with educators to find out exactly what skills are needed.

In addition, community colleges in New Hampshire and Vermont have bolstered classes to train students to become computer numerical control machinists — those who run equipment that creates machine parts — or learn skills like tubing that are critical to building engines.

I went at the wrong time.

Businesses, too, are starting internship and part-time jobs programs in a bid to convince young workers that manufacturing isn’t the dirty, difficult work of their parents or grandparents. Some are even offering hiring incentives to attract prospective workers and considering busing candidates into New Hampshire from out of state, like Hitchiner Manufacturing Co., which already has a short list of towns it would target for employees.

Look at the eliti$m. 

‘‘In the past, manufacturers were passive about it,’’ Zanchuk said. ‘‘The hope here is that we can focus the education and training process at different levels throughout the state to prepare the workforce for the particular needs of each industry.’’


At least they produce a quality product:

"Defects plague new MBTA locomotives" by Nicole Dungca Globe Staff  February 01, 2016

The 40 new locomotives, which cost $222 million, are more reliable than the system’s 50 older trains and have helped to drive down delays overall, but it’s clear bugs still exist: The MBTA is working with its manufacturers to fix at least nine defects on the locomotives while they’re still under a two-year warranty, and it may need to fix even more.

Two of the trains have had such troubles with a frozen engine and overheating in the propulsion systems in January that they are being sent back to an Erie, Pa., facility owned by General Electric Co., for tests. GE supplied the engines for the locomotives, which were assembled by Motive Power Inc.

In addition, workers were told to keep the locomotives running overnight because they feared mechanical issues with a battery charger could keep them from restarting in the morning, according to MBTA officials.

“We’ve known that there have been issues with these locomotives since we’ve purchased them,” said Thomas Murray, president of the union that represents workers who clean the coaches. “It’s going to take a lot of money and man hours to make them road-worthy.”

Frank DePaola, general manager of the MBTA, said many of the defects were only discovered once the locomotives were being heavily used. The authority, DePaola said, is aggressively tackling the problem by asking Motive Power and GE for systemic repairs.

“I don’t think we expected to get anything with no defects at all,” he said. “Our intent is to make sure that we can manage those defects so that, in the end, the people who pay for the locomotives are getting what they paid for.”

The MBTA has already solved some problems, such as malfunctioning fuel valves and electrical problems that led to fires.


Other systemic defects include software trouble....


Thank God they don't design bank ATMs.


You will have to wait for the next train.


"Linda Boff’s most valuable hire at General Electric may not be another marketing exec or a social media guru, but a fictional character. Boff became GE’s chief marketing officer in September, the same month that the company started running a campaign around Owen, the star of its catchy new ad campaign. The character, as you may have seen by now in one of these self-deprecating spots, lands a high-tech gig at GE, but has a hard time explaining why a young guy like him is working at a 138-year-old conglomerate. Owen (played by Gianmarco Soresi) pleads with his friends: It’s cool, guys, honest. He tells his skeptical parents: I’m changing the world. The ads are designed to blow up the preconceived notions of GE as an old-school manufacturer, all with the goal of catching the interest of brainy millennials. And the campaign seems to be working, Boff told the crowd at an Ad Club event at the Seaport World Trade Center on Tuesday."

Yeah, it's  Boffo job!

I suppose if they plug in the lights they can zero in on the problem and put all the pieces together:

"When General Electric confirmed that it will move its headquarters to Boston, the company hinted that more information would come at a public briefing here on Feb. 18, but now the industrial conglomerate is postponing the big event until April. GE spokesman Seth Martin said the main reason for the delay is the need to properly coordinate all the important participants’ schedules."

Will cross that bridge when we come to it:

"Governor Charlie Baker, during his speech Thursday to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce,  took a moment or two to celebrate a recent win: General Electric Co.’s decision last month to relocate its headquarters to Boston from Connecticut. The region’s many tech incubators, the proximity to Logan Airport, and Seaport District improvements all played a role. But there was something else GE execs noticed: the camaraderie between Baker, a Republican, and Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a Democrat. “I do think they very much appreciated that the people in public life here seem a lot more interested in governing than they are in fighting and engaging in stupid political discourse,” Baker said."

That's enough of the honors.

"General Electric Co. chief executive Jeffrey Immelt earned $33 million in 2015 as he accelerated a dramatic transformation of the industrial giant while boosting the value of the company’s shares. Excluding a change in pension value, Immelt’s adjusted compensation rose 14 percent to $23.4 million, GE said Monday in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. His base salary of $3.8 million and $5.4 million bonus were little changed from the previous year. Immelt, 60, reshaped GE in 2015 around industrial manufacturing and data analytics while working to shed the bulk of the GE Capital finance arm. The company reached deals to unload more than $150 billion of lending assets and closed the $10.3 billion acquisition of Alstom SA’s energy business. The company announced plans in January 2016 to relocate to Boston from Fairfield, Conn., a move the CEO said may help GE recruit in the technology industry."

What does he have to say about that? What if the jobs don't pan out? Who will speak up then?

Sorry to be so pessimistic amidst a sluggish economy, but when things cool down will you be able to go back home?

Or will you have to shed some power?

"General Electric Co. agreed to participate in as much as $3 billion of investments across industries in Saudi Arabia as the desert kingdom seeks to diversify its economy away from oil. The US manufacturing giant will collaborate with the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Co. to pump $1 billion into the local market by the end of next year; that could be followed by another $2 billion invested in water, energy, aviation, and digital projects in subsequent years, the company said. The agreement is intended to complement the ‘‘Saudi Vision 2030’’ plan to diversify its economy. The project includes selling shares in Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco, creating the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and generating more than $100 billion in additional nonoil revenue by 2020. GE also plans to invest $400 million in a forging and casting factory in Saudi Arabia that will help double the company’s workforce to 4,000 by 2020. Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih, with GE executives, including CEO Jeffrey Immelt at left, announced an agreement Monday."

I suppose human rights is not a big idea for GE, but I will just hold my peace or they will scrap your raise. “There's a war for talent, and talent is winning that war” -- in Paris! That's why Veolia relocated. Nothing personal; that's just the growth of business in Bo$ton. They are an industrial giant that is giving to the schools and spanning the wealth gap.

So have you seen the new headquarters? Just take a glance because it's official: GE is open for business in Boston

They've joined the MIT energy initiative by donating $7.5 million, whose largest source of money is industry. It's not a loan and it's a big step forward towards becoming the next Silicon Valley. They have already decided on a contractor to build the place.

"One of the biggest complaints about the development boom that is reshaping Boston’s waterfront is that it has created too few parks and places for people to hang out. Now one of the state’s biggest parks organizations is planning to change that. The Trustees of Reservations are scouting sites in the Seaport, Fort Point, and East Boston for what the organization’s leader hopes will be a “jaw-dropping” park along Boston Harbor. The group has zeroed in on five locations and hired several of the nation’s leading landscape architects to design concepts for public release later this spring. No price tag has been outlined, but a project of this scale would likely cost tens of millions of dollars...."

Not to weigh you down but:

"Investors are watching how President Donald Trump will affect GE, including the possibility of corporate tax reform that could bring down the company’s bill. In the fourth quarter, GE had an effective tax rate of negative 2 percent. Immelt has said GE could also benefit from new infrastructure investment and an improving business climate under Trump. GE has met with lawmakers and policy makers to discuss what elements could be included in a tax overhaul, including a “reasonable” transition tax for companies looking to bring back overseas cash, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bornstein said on a conference call telephone interview." 

It's been an “extremely difficult” 2016! 

sign of the future or just wi$hful thinking?

Partners, GE step up to fight opioid epidemic

Partners, GE help launch RIZE, an opioid addiction effort

All the laughs and giggles regarding the topic is getting RIZE out of me!!!

I would leave in the helicopter, but.... oh, never mind.

One final whisper into your ear:

“If those readers like and trust you because of the content, they’re more likely to buy products from you.”

And if they don't?