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GE Announces Appliance Park Expansion

General Electric made it official Monday and announced it will, for the first time in decades, make a new product at Louisville's Appliance Park.GE Consumer and Industrial President Jim Campbell says the expansion will create some 400 jobs in the plant and hundreds more auxillary jobs in the community."For the first time in 52 years, I'm excited to announce a new product line. The innovative GE hybrid electric water heater will be made right here in Louisville starting in mid 2011," Campbell said during a ceremony at the plant.GE will invest nearly $70 million in the new product line.

The company is also getting help from the city and the state in the form of tax incentives worth millions of dollars, and from the plant's union workers, who voted to accept a wage freeze in exchange for the promise of new jobs.Campbell says the water heaters will retail for about $1,500 each.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.