As part of its deal with President-elect Donald Trump to retain some Indiana jobs, Carrier pledged to invest $16 million dollars in its Indianapolis factory.
But that investment will go toward automation, according to Carrier parent company CEO Greg Hayes.
In an interview with CNBC, Hayes said investing in machines and robots to replace some jobs people used to do will help make up some – though not all – of what Carrier would have saved by moving operations to Mexico, where labor is cheaper.
“But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs,” he told CNBC’s Jim Cramer.
The interview came just days after Hayes agreed to keep 730 factory workers in Indianapolis, in exchange for $7 million in state tax breaks.
Hayes said some jobs just don’t require skilled labor.
“The assembly lines in Indiana – I mean, great people. Great, great people,” he said. “But the skill set it takes to do those jobs is very different from what it takes to assemble a jet engine.”
A Carrier spokesman wouldn’t comment further, except to say automation would not be used to replace assembly lines that are still slated to move to Mexico.
Carrier is still eliminating 500 factory jobs in Indianapolis and 700 more in Huntington.