WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Can manufacturing be sexy again? The head of General Electric says "Yes." He had a conversation Thursday with Purdue President Mitch Daniels. The talk centered around how a large company like GE and a university like Purdue can partner together.
According to Daniels, General Electric hires more graduates from Purdue than any other school. That's why Daniels said it was important to sit down with the Chairman and CEO for GE Jeffrey Immelt and talk about the future.
"There's such an overlay of the business GE is in and the research and the subjects that we study here at Purdue," said Daniels.
During the conversation, Daniels asked Immelt how can a company like GE and a university like Purdue build partnerships. Immelt answered that the university has to elevate to a certain level as far as research and development goes. Daniels said he spoke to Immelt about a potential partnership and said the university is up for the challenge.
"Most people believe great research universities and, at least, certain companies will have to find new and better ways to work together for a mutual benefit. We'd like to be at the forefront of that," said Daniels
Immelt went on to talk about the future of manufacturing. He said the factories need to be smaller and technologically driven. He even said students need to realize that manufacturing is sexy again. President Daniels agreed.
"If, as I believe, manufacturing is really going to regain strength. The breakthroughs in lowering the cost of natural gas and oils is a huge plus for our part of the country and for manufacturing," said Daniels.
Immelt had to catch a plane right after the talk and wasn't available for an interview. But he closed by giving students an idea of how to be as successful as possible. He said pick something you want to be good at and stick with it. Also, get involved in big initiatives. When possible, try to seek a good, positive boss.
Immelt announced that General Electric will offer Purdue students a total of $100,000 in scholarships over the next decade. The scholarships will be two $5,000 scholarships for the next 10 years.
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