BENTON HARBOR, MICH.
— Whirlpool will visit
dealers in 70 cities beginning this month as part of
a seven-week training program for sales associates.
The initiative is designed to train dealers’ sales
teams on the key selling points of the company’s latest
cooking, refrigeration, kitchen-cleanup and laundry
The multi-day training, led by field-brand experts,
targets independent retailers, larger retail accounts,
associate contract distributors, showroom
consultants, designers and home-improvement
stores. Sessions will be broken out into various
segments in order to deliver customized training to
meet the needs of each specific audience, Whirlpool
Whirlpool sales training manager Liz Okon said the
program “makes learning about the company’s products
easy and entertaining,” and that a well-educated
sales team offers customers better in-store experiences
and gives companies more opportunities to grow
Customers can contact their local account reps for
more information and tour dates, the company said.
In other Whirlpool news, the world’s largest majap
maker announced plans to open a 1.4 millionsquare-
foot manufacturing facility and distribution
center in Cleveland, Tenn. The state-of-the-art plant
for premium built-in cooking appliances will replace a
100-year-old factory nearby.
Whirlpool will invest $120 million in the project and
expects to add approximately 130 new jobs to its
current 1,500-employee workforce. Construction is
slated to begin in the fourth quarter.
Chairman/CEO Jeff Fettig said the new facility
represents “the largest single investment we’ve
ever made anywhere in the world and reinforces our
commitment to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.”
Whirlpool manufacturing VP Al Holaday added that the
project was made possible by the support of local, state
and federal officials.
The new plant, like GE’s plan to keep production of
its next-generation, smart grid-enabled laundry line at its
main Appliance Park facility in Louisville, Ky., represents a
reversal of the industry’s outsourcing strategy of the past
decade, which has cost the U.S. economy thousands of