Whirlpool Corp. will close its machining facility in Benton Harbor, MI in late 2010 or early 2011, eliminating 216 jobs.
Whirlpool is launching new laundry appliances, which will be manufactured at its plant in Clyde, OH.
"New innovations have eliminated many of the traditional components produced at the Benton Harbor facility," said Al Holaday, vice president, Manufacturing Operations, North America Region. "The new streamlined internal components will be machined at the Clyde Division."
Holaday said the laundry platforms are the most energy and water efficient the company has ever produced, and they utilize new and fewer parts.
"Closing a facility is a difficult decision," said Holaday. "We are announcing this several months in advance as part of our commitment to make the transition as smooth as possible. We plan to work closely with the local Michigan Works office to assure assistance for these highly-skilled and capable individuals to find employment in the local area."
Whirlpool has about 67,000 employees worldwide, with about 30% in the United States. About 17,000 employees work in manufacturing positions. During the last year, the company's U.S. manufacturing employee base has increased 12%.
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