About a dozen Newtown residents who work for General Electric joined colleagues who are current or former loaned executives to the town, Martha Poulter, vice president and Chief Information Officer for GE Capital, and the Newtown Board of Selectmen to celebrate a $15 million gift to the community to build, staff and program a community center at Newtown Municipal Center.
In a post for the Council on Foreign Relations’ Renewing America series, Edward Alden discusses the issue of workforce training: “There is a chicken-and-egg problem in the U.S. labor market. With the U.S. economy still down some 2.4 million jobs from its peak in January 2008, U.S. employers should be enjoying a buyer’s market for skilled workers. And yet employers report that they are struggling to fill open jobs – at last count there were 3.83 million job openings, close to a five-year high.”
“If I had a nickel for every person who told me I should use my STEM degree to become a teacher, I would have zero nickels,” said Rebecca Murday. “By 2018, eight million U.S. jobs in STEM fields will be available, but the majority of our students will be unprepared to fill them. Among industrialized nations, we rank 17th in science achievement and 25th in math achievement. Our economy and education system are at a stalemate, and we don’t have enough highly qualified science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers to teach our next generation of innovators.”
The people at GE are all about tapping into that inner imagination to make the world work better. So it’s little surprise they’re working to tackle the global health problem with their Healthymagination campaign, designed to increase quality, access, and affordability of health care. GE employees live and breathe their mission with killer health benefits, maternity and paternity leave, onsite gyms at most locations, and HealthAhead — a wellness site with resources and tools to get and stay healthy. They’re also encouraged to commit to making a small, health-related choice (such as standing more) every day through the company’s “Small Changes” program. Wellness doesn’t stop at the gym or the DASH-diet-approved catered events; GE also holds seminars on mindfulness and achieving balance.
State, local and company officials met on Nov. 14, to break ground on GE Aviation’s new 170,000-square-foot Asheville facility, being built next to an existing GE Aviation machining plant in South Asheville. It will be the first in the world to mass produce engine components made of advanced ceramic matrix composite materials. GE will begin hiring at the new plant in 2014 and expects to employ 340 people at full capacity. The company currently employs 290 people in Asheville, according to a press release from the office of Gov. Pat McCrory.