Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Sunday, September 24, 2023

GE to Hire 1,100 American IT Workers 

Political and economic climate inspires at-home job creation.

GE may be rethinking its aggressive offshoring practices, according to an article in Computerworld. The $150 billion company recently announced a major hiring initiative, including plans to hire 1,100 technologists and researchers for the company's Advanced Manufacturing & Software Technology Center in Van Buren Township, Michigan, just outside Detroit.

GE's Advanced Manufacturing & Software Technology CenterGE first began offshoring IT and business processes to a center in India in 1996, but now the bloom may be off the rose as far as offshore hiring goes. Charlene Begley, president and CEO of GE Home and Business Solutions and senior vice president, told Bloomberg news: "About 50 percent of the IT work was being done by non-GE employees. That strategy may have had its time, but there was a lot of downside. We lost a lot of the technical capabilities that we have to own."

The hiring of 1,100 US-based IT professionals seeks to bring more balance to the company's workforce. Currently GE employs 9,600 IT workers in 40 countries around the world in addition to 3,000 to 4,000 IT positions that are outsourced to India.

Deia Campanelli, global communications leader for GE-IT, reported that the Advanced Manufacturing and Software Technology Center jobs will be new positions and will not be replacing offshored jobs.

At the heart of GE's apparent change of strategy are economic and political factors. As Phil Fersht, founder of outsourcing analyst firm HfS Research, says: "This move shows that their global operations management strategy is changing as wages in the US continue to fall, bringing something closer to parity with low-cost locations such as India. As arbitrage disappears, companies have to compete on quality and competency."

The center has hired 660 employees so far and GE is reportedly hiring two new workers per day.