Schneider Electric announced an additional $40 million investment towards modernizing its U.S manufacturing plants in Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Texas. The monies will go towards innovative technologies and new production lines that will help increase Schneider Electric’s capacity of operations in the U.S. for its customers, as well as further develop its local workforce.
COVID-19 placed a spotlight on the critical vulnerabilities global manufacturing and supply chains can face during unprecedented disruption. This additional stake in the U.S. is part of a larger, strategic approach to strengthen resilience, increase flexibility, and safeguard its supply chain. The initiative will provide Schneider Electric with greater control of its production processes that will help them deliver quality products and services to its customers, while introducing new learning opportunities to the workforce.
“This investment demonstrates our continued commitment to both our customers and our employees, while setting the foundation for the future,” said Annette Clayton, CEO and President, Schneider Electric North America. “We now have the technology and resources available to expand and efficiently produce more locally. By modernizing and localizing our operations, we can better serve our customers and minimize the risk of interruption when we face the challenges of global economic changes.”
For example, Schneider Electric’s smart factory in Lexington, KY recently earned the distinction of 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) Advanced Lighthouse by the World Economic Forum, becoming the third of its factories to receive this honor. The factory was recognized for its success in adopting Industry 4.0 technologies at scale with demonstrated benefits around energy efficiency, sustainability and overall cost savings, while offering increasing agility and resiliency within the operation.
As U.S.-based companies increasingly look to reshore more of their manufacturing operations, the industry is creating more jobs that will require a new wave of a skilled workforce to fill them. In Schneider Electric’s case, the company has hired and pledges to hire 130 new employees through early 2021. This new era of investing in smart manufacturing and automation tools is not only introducing the opportunity to upskill the industrial workforce, but it can help attract new talent and have a positive impact against the skills gap concerns the industry faces. As part of this investment, Schneider Electric employees will receive more digital training opportunities and tools that will enable them to adopt new skill sets and work more efficiently in a modern setting.