General Electric pledges to spend $50M on Boston initiatives

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt is pledging to spend $50 million on a series of initiatives in Boston, including $25 million in the public schools, as his company prepares to move its headquarters to the city.

The announcement came as Immelt joined with Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh on Monday to unveil more details about the 's decision to move its headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut.

General Electric Co. will occupy two buildings and build a third in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood. Immelt said the move will create about 4,000 temporary and permanent jobs.

Immelt said the company plans to move into temporary offices in August and ultimately will bring 800 new workers to the area. He predicted the move will inject more than $1 billion into the local economy.

Immelt said the company was drawn to Boston because of its determination not to lose out to Silicon Valley on the growth of the "industrial Internet."

"The other thing I like about Boston is that you have a chip on your shoulder," he said. "I love that."

Baker said GE and Massachusetts are a good match. He said that 40 percent of workers in the state are part of the "innovation economy."

Baker predicted that other companies will relocate to the Boston area in part because General Electric is doing so.

As part of the $50 million package unveiled Monday, Immelt said GE will fund a career lab to help prepare students for jobs in .

The company also will spend $15 million on community health centers and $10 million to expand diversity in the health care, science and technology fields.

Protesters gathered outside the press conference to highlight the millions of dollars in tax breaks and public incentives, including the prospect of free rent on city-owned land, used to lure the company to Boston.

Susan Strelec, a 70-year-old protester from the city's Jamaica Plain neighborhood, braved the snow, wind and icy sidewalks in front of the high-rise office building where the press conference was being held to voice her concerns.

Strelec said the city and state should be more focused on improving schools and homeless shelters and fixing public transportation than offering sweet deals to corporations.

"I hate injustice. I hate corporate greed. I hate stupidity," said Strelec, a member of the Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants, one of the groups protesting the agreement.

Walsh defended the deal, saying it will end up generating more tax revenues by renovating the two warehouses on city-owned land, rather than letting them remain as they are for the next 10 to 15 years.

Walsh also pointed to the $25 million pledge to the Boston schools by GE, which he said was a direct result of the deal.

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General Electric to move headquarters to Boston

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Apr 05, 2016
Will GE supply the computing power to support caterman internet access for public school students to monitor their own diet/daily nutrient intake from school meals and other consumption? How high is tackling obesity on their priority list for helping public schools to improve the health of their students? An intiative by GE to attack the obesity epdemic would be a good step forward, perhaps in collaboration with the School of Nutrition Science atTufts.

Apr 05, 2016
If you are really serious about ending obesity, heart attacks and diabetes end the great lie AKA the government food pyramid. Simple easily digested carbs such as the ones found in baked goods, potatoes, rice and corn are the real cause of the problem, not fats. They are the cause of high blood sugar levels and the associated problems. Fueling your body with calories from carbs reduces your bodies ability to burn stored fat which leads wild swings in blood sugar, extreme hunger and cravings.

Apr 05, 2016
Take a typical breakfast of 2 eggs, bacon, toast and french fries. The villains here are the toast and potatoes not the eggs and bacon.

Apr 05, 2016
"Strelec said the city and state should be more focused on improving schools and homeless shelters and fixing public transportation than offering sweet deals to corporations."

Strelec epitomizes the problem with people in this country. They have absolutely no comprehension of the fact that without employment the whole system goes bankrupt. Provide people with jobs and perhaps you would not need the homeless shelters to begin with. We spend more money per student than any other nation in the world and still get the poorest results. More money will not help. The system needs to change.

Apr 05, 2016
Take a typical breakfast of 2 eggs, bacon, toast and french fries.

What the hell? In what part of the universe are any one of these 'part of a normal breakfast'?

This is lunch, dinner and an additional fast food meal rolled into one. No wonder there's an obseity epidemic if there are people who consider this stuff 'normal' for breakfast.

Apr 05, 2016
Well french fries are not typical but some sort of potato like hash browns or home fries are. People eating high glycemic index carbs like pancakes or cereals for breakfast are just setting themselves up for a huge blood sugar spike and cravings later in the day.

Apr 05, 2016
BTW does anyone even think that it is in the least bit ironic that GE has moved from a super liberal state, CT, with a democratic governor to Mass a once super liberal state with a Republican governor. Hummm, welfare vs employment and employment won----Kudos for conservatism.

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