Remarks by Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton at White House Announcement for Siemens USA Manufacturing Investment
March 4, 2022
Siemens USA President and CEO Barbara Humpton spoke at the White House for an event announcing Siemens USA’s $54 million investment across key U.S. manufacturing facilities. Here are the remarks she delivered at the event:
Thank you, Celeste, and thank you, Mr. President, for inviting us to the White House for this announcement. And what better day than Employee Appreciation Day – you can see on the screen here we have employees from Pomona, California, as well as Grand Prairie, Texas.
You know, for years, the question about America’s crumbling infrastructure has been: What if? Instead of just maintaining, what if we really invested in the next century of American growth and leadership?
We now have the opportunity to answer this question thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. As the President said in his State of the Union address earlier this week: “We’re done talking about infrastructure weeks. Now we’re talking about an infrastructure decade.”
And what we get to focus on today is not just what we’ll build, but who will build it over this next decade. People like my colleagues joining us today, workers who support the industries and create the infrastructure that form the backbone of America’s economy.
Our teams in Pomona and Grand Prairie develop electrical equipment powering critical infrastructure systems, including electric vehicle chargers, data centers and factories. Today – to meet the growing demand and to support national infrastructure projects – Siemens is announcing our plans to invest $54 million into these manufacturing facilities.
Additionally, later this spring, we’ll identify the location of a new EV charging manufacturing hub to support our goal to produce more than a million EV chargers over the next four years. All told, just this footprint expansion translates to nearly 300 new jobs. And we know there will be more jobs still to come in our regional supply chains.
Folks, a new era for manufacturing is now taking shape in America. Think about what we’ve experienced during the global pandemic. COVID-19 affected everyone, everywhere. But, from the start, the response to it was local. We had to have readily available production and in-demand supplies. And as we’ve continued to address supply shortages of critical items – everything from PPE early in the pandemic to chips, more recently – the future of industry we’re now seeing is what I’ve been calling “glocal.”
We’ve seen how essential global innovation can be and it will continue to be so. But as supply chains have been disrupted, and we’ve also seen how important it is to be able to establish local production capabilities, we see that we can build resilience against future disruptions.
But that’s not all: Technology – from automation to digital tools to additive techniques like 3D printing – is strengthening the case for investing in American manufacturing, or for “glocalization.” It’s strengthening the case for making things in America for American customers – leveraging state-of-the-art technology and being able to co-locate manufacturing with research and development. Just like we’re doing today as we partner with national manufacturing institutes in Detroit, Chicago and Silicon Valley. All of this leads to more resilient supply chains.
I’ll add that when Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger was here in January to announce plans for new U.S. semiconductor plants, we heard Pat voice his support for funding the CHIPS for America Act to boost U.S. semiconductor production.
And I’d like to join Commerce Secretary Raimondo and the President in supporting targeted investments in research and development and in industrial modernization projects. We’re glad to see bipartisan support for growing advanced manufacturing in America at greater speed and scale, and we urge Congress to take action. Let’s continue to work together across the public and private sectors to build this industrial base.
And I’ll say this: We have some real work cut out for us when it comes to inspiring the next generation of workers to join in what we’re building.
At Siemens, we’re actively recruiting for more than 2,400 open jobs today nationwide. Approximately a quarter of our hiring demand is in manufacturing, where, nationally, there are currently more than 800,000 job openings.
So, I’m looking forward to handing it over to Lonnie Stephenson, President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, in just a minute. But before I do, I want to share one final idea about how we build this workforce. Because I really think a lot of it comes down to addressing the myth we hear so often: that investments in modern technology will relegate workers to the sidelines.
Folks, from the first time a human picked up a rock and used it as a tool, tools and technology have elevated the role of humans. And the future of manufacturing is no different. It’s no different even as we introduce tools which, frankly, I never could have even dreamed of when I started my career as a software programmer in the early 1980s. I mean, we actually were using slide rules back then.
But today, in Grand Prairie and Pomona, they use our digital twin technology that was instrumental in supporting NASA’s Mars Rover mission – software that combines the real and digital worlds. And in Grand Prairie, they’ve also deployed advanced robotics.
Yet what I saw when I last visited Grand Prairie wasn’t fear of an automated future; it was actually excitement. Workers weren’t being replaced; a new training program for technicians was teaching them how to program robots. Instead of being focused on repetitive tasks, workers were running multiple machines. They were programming the delivery of parts for the next shift. Multigenerational teams were working together to increase product quality, safety, and speed to market.
So, as our infrastructure investment leads to new orders that spark transformation across American manufacturing, we’re not going to automate people out of the process. No, I promise you: We will expand what’s humanly possible. We’ll expand opportunities for people at all stages of their lives, their careers and education to shape a future that’s more sustainable, resilient and equitable.
Mr. President, thank you so much for bringing us here today. And now I’d like to introduce Lonnie Stephenson.