LOUISVILLE, Ky.- August 17, 2022- GE Appliances, a Haier company (GEA) partnered with YouthBuild Louisville and other organizations to open Smoketown Laundry in a formerly vacant building at 906 South Hancock Street in the Smoketown neighborhood. Smoketown Laundry uses an innovative approach to developing community-wide strategies to improve the economic and social well-being of residents. The multi-functional space features a neighborhood laundromat that also provides educational supports, financial literacy, and community resources.
“This project is an example of how business and nonprofit organizations can come together to help families thrive,” said Lynn Rippy, executive director for YouthBuild. “Smoketown Laundry is the first phase of this project that is transforming an abandoned building into a place to build community.”
In addition to the laundromat, the finished space will include transitional apartment units for unhoused YouthBuild program participants and a community center. Funding was secured through philanthropic donations from the Gheens Foundation, Impact 100 Louisville, and two federal awards totaling $2.1 million. GE Appliances donated the new commercial laundry units, installation, and technical support to help complete the laundromat phase of the project.
“The timing and comprehensive focus of this initiative could not be better, “said Peter Pepe, vice president of Clothes Care at GE Appliances. “GEA entered the commercial laundry business this past December and have focused our corporate community engagement efforts on transformational projects in the communities where our employees live and work. Smoketown Laundry is the perfect intersection of our product innovation and commitment to make good things, for life. This project elevates YouthBuild’s career readiness program, a minority-owned small business, and fills a gap of day-to-day needs in this neighborhood.”
GE Appliances’ commercial laundry products include a portfolio of WiFi-enabled front load and top load washers and dryers. The machines are protected with Microban® antimicrobial technology on high touch surfaces, compatible with the SmartHQ Management Portal to help centralize critical laundry information and include a built-in, coinless payment system. Smoketown Laundry patrons will be able to earn laundry credits by participating in YouthBuild’s social support and education programs. The donation provided the business owner’s solution for both appliances and innovative payment system technology. The laundromat is also open to the public for laundry needs – customers do not have to be a program participant.
About GE Appliances
At GE Appliances, a Haier company, we come together to make "good things, for life." We're creators, thinkers and makers who believe that anything is possible and that there’s always a better way. We’re a company powered by our people, made stronger through our diversity — allowing us to grow closer than ever before to our owners, anticipate their needs and enhance their lives. In 2021, we were certified as a US Great Place to Work TM, named one of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women by Seramount (formerly Working Mother Media), Achievers Top 50 Most Engaged Workplaces, received a perfect score for the fourth year in a row on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, and named one of the top 100 Internship Programs by Way Up.
Since 1907, we’ve built innovative, quality products that are trusted in half of all U.S. homes. We sell appliances under the Monogram®, Café™, GE Profile™, GE®, Haier and Hotpoint brands. Our products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, wine & beverage centers, air conditioners, small appliances, water filtration systems and water heaters.
To learn more about our company, our brands, our Corporate Citizenship efforts, our economic impact, and working for GE Appliances visit www.geappliancesco.com.