Economic Development, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Whirlpool invests $40M in expansion

March 17, 2014
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Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool makes home appliances under several brands, including KitchenAid. Photo via twitter.com

Whirlpool is investing $40 million to double the size of a manufacturing operation in Ohio to meet demand for its KitchenAid small appliances.

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool said today that the expansion at its Greenville, Ohio plant later this year will also include the addition of 400 employees by 2018, bringing the workforce there to about 1,400 employees. Most of the new jobs will be in production.

The expansion will add 200,000 square feet to the plant, growing it to 460,000 square feet.

Whirlpool will launch the project after final approvals of state and local assistance.

The company said that small appliance production has doubled during the past five years at the Greenville facility, due to strong global demand for KitchenAid brand small appliances — largely its stand mixer.

The company recently introduced its KitchenAid stand mixer into India and Russia, helping to fuel the demand — along with growth in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Whirlpool is confident the growth will continue.

"This expansion project recognizes the outstanding skills of our Greenville employees, as well as strong partnership and support from the state of Ohio, the city of Greenville and Darke County," said Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corporation.

Made in America

Fettig noted that the company’s decision to expand the Greenville facility demonstrates its commitment to American manufacturing.

“As the KitchenAid brand continues to expand its small-appliance portfolio globally, this major expansion will ensure Greenville remains the manufacturing hub of our small-appliance business,” Fettig said.

Employees at the Greenville facility produce an average of 16,000 units per day.

Downtown Greenville is also home to the KitchenAid Experience store.

Whirlpool said it employs about 15,000 U.S. manufacturing workers — more than all of its major competitors combined.

Eighty percent of the products Whirlpool sells in the U.S. are made in the U.S., and the company is committed to investing $1 billion in its U.S. footprint between 2010 and 2014.

The company is on track to meet its goal, said Kristine Vernier, a Whirlpool spokesperson.

That commitment includes investments at the company's Greenville and Clyde, Ohio facilities, additional manufacturing operations and a new office complex at the company's headquarters.

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