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LAFAYETTE, Georgia — Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday checked out GE Appliances' sprawling oven and cooktop manufacturing plant, where the company is spending $43 million to launch new products.
"Rural Georgia is ripe for investment and economic growth," said Kemp, as he toured part of the Roper Corporation facility that's bigger than Hamilton Place mall and already makes 1 million cooking products annually.
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Kemp also spent time with Roper officials talking about the future.
Lois - Crandall - President - Plant - Manager
Lois Crandall, the president and plant manager, said GE Appliances has plans to grow, and it wants to convince leadership that LaFayette is the place where the next big investment should take place.
"You grow or you lose share ... and disappear," she said.
Roper - Plant - Minutes - LaFayette - Picturesque
The Roper plant, located less than 10 minutes from LaFayette's picturesque town square, already employs more than 2,000 people and is Walker County's biggest employer at a single site, according to the company.
The newest $43 million investment, slated for completion by mid-2020 and adding 100 jobs, is going toward equipment to manufacture more of the cooking products that has made parent company Haier the No. 2 appliance maker in the United States following Whirlpool.
Haier - Group - General - Electric - Appliances
China-based Haier Group purchased General Electric's appliances segment in 2016 and the company is aiming for the top spot.
"It's exciting being part of a company that wants to win," said Crandell. "Haier's No. 1 focus is appliances."
Scott - Brown - Roper - Manufacturing - Operations
Scott Brown, Roper's manufacturing operations director, agreed, saying that "they want us to win in the marketplace."
Brown said the plant makes a large range of products with costs varying from $500 to $5,000 each.
Company - Company - Appliances - Years - Rope
According to the company, the the company has launched more than 300 new appliances over just the past two years at the Rope plant, ranging from free-standing electric ranges to wall ovens...
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