CHICAGO (CBS) — GE Transportation will be moving its corporate headquarters from Erie, Pa., to Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Wednesday.
Joined by chief executive officer Lorenzo Simonelli, Mayor Emanuel announced Tuesday that the mining, marine and railroad equipment manufacturer will move to Chicago and bring 150 workers over the next two years.
“GE Transportation joins TTX and Freight Car America that are based here in the Chicago area, creating, again not only for operations, but for headquarters – Chicago is a transportation headquarters destination,” Mayor Emanuel said.
The city’s prominence as a transportation industry center has only been growing and continues to do so, Emanuel said.
“Carl Sandburg once wrote that Chicago is the freight handler of the nation,” Emanuel said. “If he were writing today, he might say that it was the freight handler of the world.”
Emanuel said the site for the new GE Transportation headquarters has not been selected, but it will be “in the 312 area code.”
Simonelli said GE Transportation has been headquartered in Erie for 100 years, and the locomotive business and manufacturing operation will remain there. But there were plenty of strategic reasons to come to Chicago, he said.
“As the mayor said, Chicago is a hub to be able to reach the global customer base,” he said.
Simonelli said about 50 employees will come to Chicago when GE Transportation brings its global headquarters to the city, and over the next few years, that number will increase to 150.
Published reports say neither Emanuel nor Gov. Pat Quinn offered any financial incentives to lure GE Transportation to the city.