TN: Whirlpool to Invest $120 Million in New TN Manufacturing Facility

1 Sep, 2010

State-of-the-Art Cooking Appliance Facility to Preserve 1,500 Jobs, Add 130

Governor Phil Bredesen and Commissioner Matt Kisber, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development today congratulated the leadership of the Whirlpool Corporation of Benton Harbor, Michigan on the company’s decision to invest $120 million in a new, approximately 1-million sq. foot manufacturing facility to produce premium built-in cooking products in Cleveland, Tennessee.

“Whirlpool is a highly respected, longstanding corporate citizen of Bradley County and I’m grateful for their continued investment in the people of Tennessee,” said Governor Bredesen. “This investment means a bright future for the Tennessee workers employed by Whirlpool and is a strong vote of confidence in their quality and productivity.”

“Tennessee’s partnership with Whirlpool is a strong one and we appreciate the openness and honesty which characterized our dialogue with the company,” said Commissioner Kisber. “We appreciate their recognition that the business climate we’ve created in Tennessee and our skilled workforce have a role to play in the company’s future.”

Company officials plan to build a new, LEED-certified manufacturing facility producing innovative, energy efficient cooking products to replace the 100-year old manufacturing plant at 740 King Edward Avenue, SE in Cleveland, TN. Whirlpool will also build a 400,000 sq. foot distribution facility on the site of the new plant, adding 130 new positions to the currently existing 1,500 manufacturing employees.

“Whirlpool continues to invest in our US-based manufacturing footprint. We have a strong commitment that this is an excellent place to invest and create value for both our customers and our shareholders. In 2010, a year of continued, significant economic challenge, Whirlpool continues to invest in innovation, our employees, and the infrastructure needed to ensure we continue to lead the industry with truly innovative products that meet the changing needs of consumers," said Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and chief executive officer, Whirlpool Corporation. "Today's announcement for $120M in Cleveland Tennessee is the largest single investment we've ever made anywhere in the world and reinforces our commitment to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing."

The new facility will be located at the corner of Benton Pike and Michigan Avenue in Cleveland, Tennessee, less than seven miles from the existing plant and warehouse. Construction is expected to begin in the 4th quarter of 2010, with phased-in production expected in the second half of 2011. Whirlpool announced an expansion of employment at the old facility in July 2008.

“The new, premium cooking center of excellence that we will be building in Cleveland is evidence of our commitment to consumers and our confidence in the U.S. market,” said Marc Bitzer, president, Whirlpool Corporation North America.

“We’re grateful to our team in Cleveland, as well as the local, state and federal officials, who supported this project to retain and grow jobs in Tennessee,” said Al Holaday, vice president manufacturing, operations and quality, Whirlpool North America. “Whirlpool is proud to employ more U.S. manufacturing workers than any appliance maker selling product in the U.S.”

About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $17 billion in 2009, 67,000 employees, and 67 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to create higher skilled, better paying jobs for all Tennesseans. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. To find out more, go to www.tn.gov/ecd or www.InvestTennessee.org.