GE's Jeff Immelt: The controversy over U.S. jobs
The role of the jobs czar in this country is to get Americans back to work, so it makes sense that the title is now being held by the CEO of one of America's largest corporations: GE's Jeffrey Immelt.
But Immelt's success is only partially built on American jobs. Half his workforce is overseas and he is unapologetic for it, as you'll see in Lesley Stahl's "60 Minutes" piece this week, "The Jobs Czar."
On Overtime, we take a look at some of GE's projects back home in the U.S., where Immelt has put an emphasis on research and development - R&D - to develop everything from enhanced breast cancer imaging equipment to a better battery.
"He thinks that all big American corporations should be investing a lot in future technologies," Lesley Stahl tells Overtime. "And he's put his money where his mouth is. He's tripled the budget at GE for R&D."
One stop on Immelt's R&D tour: solar energy research. Seemingly unfazed by the unrealized promises and downright failures in the world of solar energy, Immelt thinks the technology holds great promise. And he believes GE can outdo the competition because of the company's expertise in engineering.
"The mistake we make is by not making enough bets in markets that we're experts in," Immelt says.
On Overtime, GE tells Lesley that it will create 300-400 jobs when it builds the largest thin film solar plant in the country in the near future. That news might take a bit of sting off another recent announcement: GE is moving its 115-year-old x-ray unit from Waukesha, Wisconsin, to Beijing. It's all in a day's work for the U.S. jobs czar . . . whose day job is as a global CEO.
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