Manufacturing in the Balance

Inexpensive labor has defined the last decade in manufacturing. The future may belong to technology.

By Antonio Regalado on January 3, 2013

When General Electric expanded manufacturing of home heaters and refrigerators at its facility in Kentucky last year, the reasons included big wage concessions the company had won from local workers and the advantages of being closer to its U.S. customers. But writing in the Harvard Business Review last March, CEO Jeffrey Immelt explained that one of the biggest factors in GE’s decision to bring back manufacturing from China and South Korea was the desire to keep appliance designers near its manufacturing and engineers.

Read more: Can the U.S. Lead the World in Advanced Manufacturing? | MIT Technology Review.

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