GE aims to promote manufacturing with new Houston training center

By Stephany Romanow

HOUSTON -- When speaking about Houston, Texas, most individuals think of Space City due to Houston’s long-time connection with NASA and the space shuttle program. Likewise, many individuals consider Houston as an energy center; it is home to many major E&P and service companies.

More important, Houston is major manufacturing center and home to General Electric’s largest manufacturing center and GE’s Energy Management, Power and Water and Energy business groups.

John Krenicki, vice chairman, GE and president and CEO, GE Energy addressed the Greater Houston Partnership at a breakfast meeting on May 8, 2012. Krenicki shared GE’s view of the future. Tomorrow’s opportunities involve securing reliable cost-efficient energy resources.

The future is unconventional fuels and technology will make an impact on how unconventional energy resources are tapped, says Krenicki.

GE does see a bright future for the US. The US can provide many benefits for investors. It is resource rich nation. Likewise, the US can boast of advanced technology development along with a trained workforce. Intellectual property laws protect innovators.

Innovation will be a key part in future energy development, he says. The US is leading the way with advanced water reuse methods and reduced emissions in oil production. Using electric-well pads over diesel-power units is another environmentally based and energy efficiency development.

Krenicki also commented, “The energy business is a people business.” One company cannot do it alone.

Partnerships with universities and other companies are needed to advance ideas into the market. He announced that GE is investing $10 million in the development of a new Oil & Gas Training Facility in Houston to support and advance training and development for its customers and employees.

Training at the facility will focus on customer, technical and leadership skills aimed to meet the changing needs and growing global demand for drilling technologies. Scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2012, the 50,000-square-foot facility will be GE’s premier oil and gas training facility in the US.

The company also is creating approximately 100 new technical jobs in Houston to support the growth of GE’s Drilling Systems business, which is headquartered at the same location.

Located at GE’s Drilling Systems Technology Center, the new facility will continue to drive competitiveness in the region and reinforces Houston’s claim to the title of “energy capital of the world.”

“Despite tough economic times, Houston has demonstrated an unwavering economic strength—due in no small part to the energy leadership and innovative manufacturing found throughout this region,” said Krenicki.

“Today’s announcement emphasizes our continued commitment to investing in solutions that power the world, as well as in opportunities that drive American competitiveness.”

For more details on GE's training center, visit their website by clicking here.