CAMDEN, S.C. — GE Appliances, a Haier company, officially opened its $70 million state-of-the-art water heating manufacturing plant in Camden, South Carolina earlier this week. The site will serve as the company’s Center of Excellence for water heater manufacturing and was built for future expansion.
Since 2016, GE Appliances has invested $2 billion in its U.S. manufacturing and distribution operations, adding more than 3,000 new employees and creating an additional 88,000 jobs in the nation’s economy.
“Investing in U.S. manufacturing is a winning strategy for GE Appliances bringing us even closer to our customers and enabling us to serve them better,” said Kevin Nolan, president and CEO for GE Appliances. “We’re doubling down on innovation in high-tech products, cutting-edge, advanced manufacturing, and creating American jobs.”
The plant is vertically integrated and will produce units starting from coils of steel into water heaters. The new plant includes advanced systems for metal fabrication and welding, robotics for material handling and processing, and enameling of the steel. During the construction and in preparation for launch, more than 50 team leaders and maintenance employees completed more than 5,700 hours of training in robotics, welding, and mechatronics at nearby Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC).
The plant will initially employ 140 people with the plan to get up to 300.
“We are proud that Kershaw County is home to GE Appliances’ new Manufacturing Center of Excellence for water heaters. The fact that they chose South Carolina for this state-of-the-art facility is a testament to our state’s infrastructure and skilled workforce that allows companies to find success,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “We thank GE Appliances for their commitment to South Carolina, and we look forward to continuing our longstanding business partnership for many more years to come.”
Sold under the GE brand, the RealMAX™ gas water heaters offer key performance and convenience features such as a water heater offering that holds a true 30, 40, or 50 gallons of water, delivering 82 gallons of hot water in the first hour, and a durable design with up to a 12-year warranty.
“With every water heater model we carry, we’re committed to delivering maximum performance for the professional channel and distributors,” said Tom Zimmer, executive director, water heating for GE Appliances Air & Water Solutions. “South Carolina local manufacturing coupled with GE Appliances’ broad distribution system assures product delivery within days, offering quick access when our customers need it the most.”
In 2020, GE Appliances announced the launch of Air & Water Solutions, a channel dedicated to serving the needs of professional contractors and wholesale distributors in the HVAC and plumbing industry.
“Our entrance into the plumbing and HVAC channel is focused on professional contractors who are on the front lines and never stop creating solutions for their customers,” said Jim Skaggs, vice president of sales for GE Appliances Air & Water Solutions. “We are committed to matching their passion with a broad product portfolio, winning innovation, an iconic brand, and on-demand technical support. Our pros never stop, so neither will we — and that includes our Camden manufacturing team!”