GE Appliances Celebrates Opening of CoCREATE in Connecticut
October 24, 2023
GE Appliances, a Haier company, together with state education and workforce development leaders, officially opened CoCREATE to the public in Stamford, Conn. Part appliance factory, community makerspace and design & experience center, CoCREATE is a first-of-its-kind cocreation hub designed to bring people together to make, connect and inspire.
“We are thrilled to officially open CoCREATE, a dynamic incubator for innovation and partnership that puts the community at the very center of the experience,” said GE Appliances President & CEO Kevin Nolan. “CoCREATE is the latest example of our continued commitment at GE Appliances to investing in America and creating possibilities that lead to economic growth and opportunities in local communities like Stamford.”
CoCREATE is located at 47 John Street, a 67,000-sq.-ft. facility in Stamford’s Harbor Point neighborhood. GE Appliances broke ground on CoCREATE in the fall of 2021 and began manufacturing select small appliances inside the facility last year.
“I’m so excited to welcome CoCREATE to our state,” said Connecticut Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz. “This first-of-its-kind innovation hub represents GE Appliances’ renewed commitment in our region to fostering economic growth, creating jobs and providing exciting opportunities for the local community.”
The state-of-the-art facility merges elements of modern manufacturing and community collaboration and engagement under one roof to create an environment that fosters innovation, cultivates meaningful partnerships and drives exceptional customer experiences.
“CoCREATE is an incredible, unique addition to the City of Stamford—from providing students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in their state-of-the-art makerspace, to its beautiful test kitchen and design center,” said Stamford Director of Economic Development Leah Kagan. “We are excited for GE Appliances to open its doors to the community so they can take full advantage of all that it has to offer.”
Now fully open, CoCREATE offers many unique opportunities for everyone, from the local maker community to families and consumers. Here’s how:
A Place to Make: CoCREATE houses the second FirstBuild makerspace in the country. FirstBuild was first established in Louisville, Ky., to accelerate GE Appliances’ pace of innovation through social product development with a global community of makers online and in its publicly available makerspace.
With access to hand tools, 3D printers, lasers and other state-of-the-art equipment, the makerspace will offer community hours that invite individuals to explore their creativity, prototype ideas and transform concepts into actual products. CoCREATE will also host educational programming and other learning opportunities in the makerspace for students, families, area high schools and community groups.
Visitors can also see inside the CoCREATE microfactory where they can watch the craftsmanship that goes into building small appliances from GE Appliances’ lineup, including the Monogram Hearth Oven and GE Profile Smart Mixer. Here, the company builds on its longstanding commitment to workforce development and American manufacturing. Through partnerships with the University of Connecticut and Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU), students work paid, part-time shifts in the factory after classes alongside CoCREATE engineers.
“As CoCREATE opens its doors to the community, I want to thank CEO Kevin Nolan and GE Appliances for being inclusive, engaged and forward-thinking partners,” said CSCU Chancellor Terrence Cheng. “Since the inception of this incredible space, our students have been able to gain hands-on experience in this unique facility. Kevin made sure to include students from local institutions, and specifically he wanted community college students to be in on the ground-floor of the design, build-out and ultimately the usage of CoCREATE. With thousands of jobs open today and thousands more expected to open in coming years, CoCREATE is preparing the next generation of workers from all walks of life for advanced manufacturing jobs in Connecticut, and we are thrilled to be part of it.”
A Place to Connect: CoCREATE offers an on-site community coffee shop, creating a welcoming place for visitors to connect. Additionally, within the facility’s design & experience center, community members can engage directly with the CoCREATE team, test new products and provide valuable feedback.
The center’s Monogram Test Kitchen also provides an avenue for culinary enthusiasts to elevate their cooking skills. Equipped with Monogram brand appliances, this fully functional kitchen will host chef demonstrations, cooking lessons and other community events. Local chefs will also use the test kitchen as part of a newly formed partnership with the Village Community Foundation‘s ‘Kitchen Incubator’ Program, which supports local, emerging chefs and restaurateurs.
A Place to Inspire: CoCREATE’s immersive brand showroom offers inspiration for home and kitchen design, even allowing visitors to customize select appliances. It showcases kitchen vignettes from GE Appliances’ various brands, such as Monogram, Café, GE, GE Profile, Haier and Hotpoint, highlighting their individual, distinctive styles.
The facility also features a retail area where visitors can explore and purchase products as well as a heritage center that pays homage to the region’s rich manufacturing history. Visitors can learn more about industrial and consumer products from the past that were invented in Connecticut, including small appliances first developed in Bridgeport by General Electric in the 1920s. In 2020, GE Appliances announced it would return to the manufacturing and selling of small appliances after 35 years.
For CoCREATE visiting hours and additional information, please visit stamfordcocreate.com.
Since 2016, GE Appliances has invested over $2 billion in its U.S. footprint—more than any other appliance company in America. CoCREATE is the latest testament to this commitment, further fueling the company’s innovation and American growth.
Photo credit: GE Appliances / Katie G. Nelson
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