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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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General Electric’s CEO on Sparking an American Manufacturing Renewal

by Jeffrey R. Immelt

Jeffrey R. Immelt, the chairman and CEO of GE, heads President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

The Idea

Labor costs caused many U.S. companies to outsource manufacturing. A broader set of metrics has led GE to reverse course and invest heavily in renewing American manufacturing operations.

More than 50 years ago, at Appliance Park, in Louisville, Kentucky, GE invested $1.2 million in a UNIVAC, the first computer deployed commercially in the United States. The UNIVAC was the size of a small garage, weighed almost 30,000 pounds, and took an entire workday to complete its calculations. Yet it was a game changer. In fact, in 1954 Roddy F. Osborn ...

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