Nov. 16 - German conglomerate Siemens opened a gas turbine plant in Charlotte, North Caroline that will generate 1,400 new jobs and increase America's manufacturing and export base. Carmen Roberts reports.
A new gas turbine plant in North Carolina is generating two much needed components for the U.S. economy: more jobs and more exports. The plant, which opened Wednesday, is an expansion for Siemens' operations in Charlotte. The German owned company will directly add 1,400 jobs to North Carolina - where the unemployment rate at 10.5 percent is well above the national average. And Siemens Energy Chief Executive, Randy Zwirn, says the impact will be even greater. SOUNDBITE: RANDY ZWIRN, CEO, SIEMENS ENERGY DIVISON (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If we're adding 1,000 jobs here, we would expect the supply chain in addition to probably be adding in the range of an additional 2,000 jobs." The new plant works well for President Obama who says he wants to double U.S. exports by 2015 to create jobs and grow the economy. Zwirn says expanding in the U.S. is a good move for Siemens, because demand for gas turbines is growing in the U.S., the Middle East and Latin America. Siemens projects the plant will double its exports to $400 million a year. SOUNDBITE: RANDY ZWIRN, CEO, SIEMENS ENERGY DIVISON (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The market we are gearing ourselves to in the long term here is the North American market for energy which is one of the largest in the world. However, 40 percent of the plant will be directed toward export activity." The state-of-the-art gas turbines will compete with those made in other countries, including China. SOUNDBITE: RANDY ZWIRN, CEO, SIEMENS ENERGY DIVISON (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We believe American workers can be competitive. We can pay good middle class wages here in the U.S. and still with the technology we have compete anywhere in the world against anyone." And the added bonus is more clean energy technology for the U.S. and the world. Carmen Roberts, Reuters.