Kohler Engines, a leading manufacturer of industrial gasoline and diesel engines, is growing its manufacturing operations in Hattiesburg, Miss. The company is making a significant investment in Hattiesburg and anticipates creating 250 full-time jobs.
“The name KOHLER is synonymous with quality. The company is known around the world for its high-quality products, so it makes sense they would increase their engine manufacturing capabilities in Mississippi – home to the most talented, productive workforce found in the U.S.,” Gov. Phil Bryant said.
KOHLER Engines is consolidating its North American manufacturing operations from a facility in Wisconsin to Hattiesburg, where the company will lease an additional 300,000 square feet in a Class A industrial building in the Forrest County Industrial Park. KOHLER Engines has operated in Hattiesburg for 20 years, producing engines primarily for zero-turn radius mowers and residential lawn mowers. The company’s existing Hattiesburg operations currently employ 350 full-time workers in addition to temporary, seasonal employees hired during the company’s peak production season.
“KOHLER Engines is proud of our 20-year relationship in Hattiesburg, and we appreciate the support of the community and the state of Mississippi. This consolidation to our plant in Hattiesburg will help us serve our customers better by giving them a single source for all of our twin-cylinder gasoline engines. Our business continues to grow, and this development makes our operation even stronger and more capable of delighting our customers in the future,” said Brian Melka, president of KOHLER Engines.
The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for equipment relocation and workforce training. Forrest County and the city of Hattiesburg are providing assistance for public infrastructure improvements, as well as ad valorem and Freeport tax exemptions.
“The state of Mississippi values its partnership with KOHLER, whose employees in Hattiesburg take pride in quality craftsmanship, enabling the company to achieve its goals in Forrest County,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. “We salute the teamwork of our partners at the Area Development Partnership, the city of Hattiesburg and Forrest County, which, along with the MDA team, was instrumental in bringing hundreds of new career opportunities to the people of the Pine Belt region.”
The expansion is slated to be complete over the next 12 months. KOHLER expects to fill the 250 new jobs over the next two years as the company ramps up production at its new facility.