Whirlpool Opens State-Of-The Art Plant in Tenn.
By John Laposky On Apr 23 2012 - 3:01am
CLEVELAND, TENN. –
Whirlpool officially opened its
newest manufacturing facility for the production of premium
cooking products here earlier this month.
The $200 million facility includes a state-of-theart,
1 million-square-foot production facility and a
400,000-square-foot distribution center. Whirlpool expects
the project will add about 130 new jobs to its existing
Whirlpool chairman and CEO Jeff Fettig and U.S.
Secretary of Commerce John Bryson spoke at a ribboncutting
ceremony, which also included Deputy Governor
Claude Ramsey and Tennessee Economic and Community
Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty, among
other federal, state and local officials.
The company said the plant “includes some of the most
energy-efficient and technologically advanced manufacturing
processes and is expected to obtain LEED Gold
certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.”
The new facility is replacing a 123-year-old plant a few
miles away. The full transition to the new facility is expected
to be complete by mid-2013.
“We are proud to have more U.S. manufacturing employees
than all of our major competitors combined,
and today’s ceremony further signifies Whirlpool Corporation’s
confidence in the Cleveland, Tenn., workforce
and in U.S. manufacturing in general,” said Jeff Fettig,
chairman and CEO for Whirlpool. “The advanced production
here supports the growth of our premium cooking
products business, which includes some of the most
innovative ranges, ovens and cooktops offered in the
Whirlpool said it spends more than $7.4 billion to operate
its nine U.S. plants, that it employs 15,000 manufacturing
workers, and that more than 80 percent of
Whirlpool products sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S.
“I want to congratulate all the people at Whirlpool
on 100 years of making things here in America. Today,
CEOs both in the U.S. and abroad are seeing places
like Cleveland, Tenn., and they’re saying, ‘That’s where I
want my next factory to go,’” said U.S. Commerce Secretary
John Bryson. “They see our R&D, our supply chains,
the quality of our products and our talented workforce.
There is simply no comparison. American competitiveness
and American innovation are full speed ahead.”
The new facility is part of a four-year, $1 billion investment
strategy in U.S. manufacturing jobs, the company
said. The plan also includes:
• a new $85 million headquarters campus in Benton
• the acquisition of the former WC Wood facility in Ottawa,
Ohio, adding nearly 400 jobs and bringing total employment
in Ohio to approximately 10,000, making it the
largest manufacturing center for appliances in the U.S.;
• a $175 million investment in the company’s Clyde,
Ohio, laundry facilities; and
• a $20 million investment in its Amana, Iowa, refrigeration
plant to drive improved productivity and efficiency.