Whirlpool Corp. yesterday officially opened a $200 million plant in Cleveland, TN, to make premium cooking appliances.
The new facility includes an advanced, 1 million square foot production facility and 400,000 square foot distribution center. Whirlpool called it the largest premium cooking appliance plant in the world.
Whirlpool designed the plant to include highly energy efficient and technologically advanced manufacturing processes, and the company expects the plan to earn LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The new plant, at Benton Pike and Durkee Road in Cleveland, replaces a 123-year old plant on nearby King Edward Avenue. Full transition to the new facility is expected to be complete by mid-2013.
The plant is expected to add about 130 new jobs to its existing Cleveland workforce.
"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, Tennessee workforce and in U.S. manufacturing in general," said Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corporation. "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 marketplace."
Fettig and U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson (pictured) were key speakers at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 10, 2012. Other federal, state and local officials were on-hand, including Tennessee Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey and Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty.
"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, Tennessee, 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."
Of the products Whirlpool Corp. makes, more than 80% of those sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S. Whirlpool's $1 billion in planned investments in its U.S. footprint, from 2010-2014, include:
* New $85 million office campus in its headquarters location of Benton Harbor, MI.
* Acquisition of the former WC Wood facility in Ottawa, OH, absorbing nearly 400 jobs and bringing employment in Ohio to approximately 10,000, making it the largest appliances manufacturing center in the U.S.
* $175 million investment in the company's Clyde, OH laundry facilities.
* $20 million investment in its Amana, IA refrigeration plant to drive improved productivity and efficiency.
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