GE Distributed Power shutting down Waukesha plant, cutting 236 jobs

Plant included in sale of business at Advent

waukesha engine
A Waukesha Engine product on display during President Barack Obama‘s visit to the plant in 2014

Last updated on July 7th, 2019 at 02:17 pm

General Electric will permanently close its GE Distributed Power facility at 1101 W. St. Paul Ave. in Waukesha, eliminating 236 jobs in the process, according to a notice filed with state officials.

GE Power engine in Waukesha
President Barack Obama spoke at GE Waukesha Gas Engines in 2014. .

GE announced earlier this week it would sell its Distributed Power business to the private equity firm Advent International. The sale included the Waukesha brand of engines, which was previously owned by Dresser Inc., as the company dramatically restructures itself.

The Waukesha facility is included in the deal. GE has about 400 employees at the plant and planned to retain around 230 and continue manufacturing there until 2019, a spokesman said earlier this week.

The company will begin eliminating positions Aug. 31 with phased layoffs continuing until complete closure on April 30, 2019, according to the notice.

The Waukesha plant already faced an uncertain future. GE announced in 2015 it would stop production of gas engines at the facility, shifting work to a new facility in Canada. At the time, the company said the decision would result in layoffs for 350 people.

GE was planning to keep 200 employees in engineering and other non-manufacturing positions in Waukesha and said in 2016 the plant would become a “center of excellence for non-manufacturing positions.”

Advent officials earlier this week directed questions about the plant’s future to GE.

The positions included in the layoffs include 205 hourly and 31 salaried jobs. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 10 represents the hourly positions. Bumping rights do exist and some employees may elect to take early retirement options.

Included in the layoffs are 76 machine operators and 63 assemblers.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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