Benton Harbor, Mich. —
Whirlpool yesterday officially opened its new manufacturing facility in
Cleveland, Tenn., for the production of premium cooking products.
The $200 million
facility includes a state-of-the-art 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 Cleveland workforce.
Whirlpool chairman and
CEO Jeff Fettig and U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson spoke at a
ribbon-cutting 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, â€˜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
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 Harbor, Mich.;
* 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.