GE expounds on its micro-kitchen concept
GE is releasing more details regarding one of its newest and most exciting projects, part of a new partnership with MakerBot and TechShop that will serve as an incubator of sorts for innovations in the appliance space.
“As we watch what’s happening in the U.S., there’s a clear trend toward smaller, more efficient living spaces,” said Lou Lenzi, director of industrial design for GE Appliances. “There will always be a need for larger appliances for existing homes; however, we can’t ignore the growing need in urban environments. GE Appliances is excited to tackle the design challenge of creating micro-kitchen concepts that help people maintain or enhance their lifestyle in substantially less square footage.”
Among the concepts is the monoblock, which seamlessly integrates cooking, cleaning and refrigeration into the cabinetry. A second design uses a drawer-based system to stow — and make available — various appliances as needed, including a microwave oven, conventional oven, convertible refrigerator and freezer, and dishwasher. It will also include an induction or radiant glass cooktop, downdraft ventilation system and kitchen sink with disposal.
According to the company, GE is the first manufacurer to have its own micro-factory production facility, which is called FirstBuild and is located in Louisville, Kentucky. There, GE will prototype, manufacture and sell small batches of the micro kitchens later this year.
Trex lauded as a top workplace
Trex Company was among those honored by the Washington Post in its 2014 Top Workplaces annual feature.
Recognized for its leadership, pay and benefits, training, diversity and workplace flexibility, Trex also stood out in large part thanks to its commitment to maintaining strong compensation for its employees in the midst of the economic downturn.
"Trex’s leadership strives to provide a desirable workplace through its company practices and policies," said Jay Rudolph, senior director of human resources for Trex. "In the face of a sluggish economy, where cutting benefit programs in order to save money is more the rule than the exception, Trex has stood strong for its employees. Best-in-class products are created by best-in-class people. Striking a balance between the needs of the company and the needs of our people has resulted in low turnover and high employee satisfaction."
Trex employees can avail themselves of competitive pay, an incentive bonus program, full medical, dental and life insurance, a 401(k) plan with a one-to-one company match up to 6%, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, tuition reimbursement for continuing education and an employee discount program on Trex products.
Starting with 36 employees in 1993 — 11 of whom are still there today — Trex currently has over 600 employees.
Stock Building Supply opens new Charlotte facility
Raleigh, North Carolina-based Stock Building Supply has opened up a new lumber and building materials distribution facility in Troutman, which will serve the nearby Charlotte metro area.
"Our new north Charlotte location is a prime example of our continued investment in strategic organic expansion," noted president and CEO Jeff Rea. "Charlotte represents an attractive and growing housing market, and this added location demonstrates our commitment to providing the resources, knowledge, products and solutions homebuilders and remodeling contractors rely on to grow their businesses efficiently."
The full-service distribution facility, design center and showroom is a response to growing customer demand in the area and will aid the existing Rock Hill, South Carolina store in serving the area.
"We are extremely excited about our expansion to the new facility," said Dwayne Farrell, general manager, Charlotte. "Superior customer service is our cornerstone, and this north Charlotte location, complete with design center and showroom, allows us to broaden our coverage area and further enhance relationships with our loyal existing customers and growing new customer base."
With 69 facilities and counting, Stock Building Supply currently serves 21 metros in 14 states, which are mainly located in the South and Western regions of the U.S.