The $18.6 million move will mark the majap maker's final exit from Evansville, which employed nearly 10,000 local workers at its peak in the early 1970s, the local Evansville Courier Press reported. The company moved its top-freezer refrigerator production from here to Mexico in 2010, and said at the time it would consider new locations for the R&D facility, which is located within the former fridge factory.
Whirlpool notified employees and local officials of its plans on Monday, the newspaper reported.
The company said it already maintains cooking, dishwashing and laundry R&D centers around the Benton Harbor area, and that moving the refrigeration facility there will help improve efficiency, according to the Courier Press report.
Evansville was also the one-time home of Sunbeam Electric Manufacturing, which was founded there in 1920.