A year after opening, General Electric Co. lays off employees at The Banks

Corporate review leads to "small number" of cuts
Posted at 8:42 AM, Oct 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-05 10:52:44-04

CINCINNATI - General Electric Co. said “a small number” of jobs are being eliminated at GE’s Global Operations Center at The Banks.

The cuts follow a WCPO report last week that GE might fall short of its job-creation goals on the Cincinnati riverfront, thanks to a “comprehensive review” of operations by new CEO John Flannery.

“All aspects of the company are being evaluated for cost efficiencies, including Global Operations,” said GE spokeswoman Arti Johri. “While a small number of Cincinnati employees are expected to be impacted by this review, our commitment to Cincinnati remains strong.”

Johri said the total number of employees at The Banks remains at “nearly 1,400,” down from the “1,400+” number she gave WCPO last week.

“Cincinnati is a very small part of the bigger review and we don’t have any more information to share at this point,” she said.

GE received one of the biggest tax-incentive deals in Cincinnati’s history when it agreed in 2014 to locate its shared services center at 191 Rosa Parks Street Downtown. The $112 million incentive package included up to $90.4 million in Job Creation Tax Credits from the city of Cincinnati and state of Ohio, along with a property tax abatement worth $12.5 million and $4 million in JobsOhio workforce training and investment grants.

Tax credit deals provide a refund to a company for earnings taxes paid by its employees. GE's credits carried a projected value of up to $90.4 million in 2014, but the actual amount depends on how well the company meets job creation, payroll and investment goals by the end of 2017.

“GE has not yet accepted any incentives from JobsOhio, training and investment grants and City Job Creation Tax Credits yet -- at the same time we are very close to our original goals,” Johri said.

To receive the state tax credits, GE promised to create 1,400 full-time equivalent jobs at The Banks and retain 326 FTEs already in Ohio. By the end of last year, GE had over 1,000 employees at The Banks. Those employees worked a combined number of hours in 2016 that resulted in 761 full-time equivalents, according to GE’s annual report to Ohio’s Development Services Agency.

Ohio’s Job Creation Tax Credit deal also requires GE to generate $111 million in new payroll. Johri said GE’s total payroll at The Banks is now over $130 million. But its annual report to the state in February listed $72.9 million in total payroll for 2016.

GE likely met the deal’s capital-investment requirement of at least $50 million.

The company signed a 15-year lease with 25 years of renewal options for its 10-story office tower at The Banks. It reported to the state total capital investments of $24 million in the project. But that amount does not include money spent by developers, Carter and Nicol Investment Co., which reportedly invested about $90 million to construct the 340,000-square-foot building. Last October, Carter and Nicol sold the property to investors based in London and Kuwait for $107.3 million.