GREENVILLE – Whirlpool Corp. celebrated the expansion of the Greenville KitchenAid manufacturing facility with a ribbon-cutting for the new area on Thursday. The $40 million expansion project approximately doubled the size of the production area.
A project to invest in and double the size of Whirlpool Corporation’s Greenville operations was announced in 2014. Whirlpool produces KitchenAid brand stand mixers and attachments, hand mixers and blenders at the Greenville facility, which has been in operation since 1942. The facility employs more than an estimated 1,200 men and women. Production of the stand mixer doubled at the Greenville facility 2009-2014.
“In the last two years we’ve been able to launch five new products produced right here in Greenville, Ohio,” Ken Hossler, plant manager, said during Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. We’ve been able to expand the facility double the size of the building. It’s really been a phenomenal trip.”
The 218,000-square-foot building expansion increased the total square footage of the building to 476,000. A quarter mile of precast panels, 720 truck loads of concrete, 5,500 tons of asphalt and 222,000 pounds of rebar were used in its construction.
“The men and women of this facility have been relentless through the project,” Hossler said in praise of the Greenville workforce. “The chaos that we have been able to overcome while continuing to run production last year and expand this facility … goes to speak to the quality and the relentless ‘refuse to lose’ attitude that our men and women have.”
KitchenAid has been a longtime corporate citizen of Greenville, and its presence has been a point of pride for residents.
“For 70 years, KitchenAid has been woven into the fabric of Greenville, Ohio,” Mayor Mike Bowers said Thursday. “You have grown your product line and employment. You have grown your manufacturing footprint. … We (the city) greatly appreciate all that you’ve done.”
State Senate President Keith Faber credited the success of the company solely to its employees and management.
“In government, what we do is try and create and environment that allows the private sector to grow and expand and create jobs, and that’s exactly what has happened here,” Faber said. “When government gets out of the way and allows the private sector to do what it does best, that’s when we get results.”
Faber, on behalf of the Ohio Senate, presented a certificate honoring the company’s milestone.
State Sen. Bill Beagle said he has a KitchenAid stand mixer in his own kitchen and his neighbor used to work in the Greenville plant. He praised the hard-working employees of the region who made a local expansion possible so that the jobs did not have to go elsewhere.
State Rep. Jim Buchy had a longer memory than most of the history of the company in Greenville.
“If you really want to know how old I am, I was not there 97 years ago when the first (KitchenAid stand mixer) was made,” Buchy said, “and the reason was, it was made in Springfield. It is true that in 1946 , when KitchenAid came to Greenville, I was 6 years old, and I remember very vividly the hooplah in Greenville when you came here. And as a teenager growing up, I know the significance and history of the, ultimately, three other locations where you made KitchenAids.”
Buchy praised the commitment and loyalty of the company’s leadership and workforce that made the ongoing success of the company possible, noting that many of the employees today are the children and grandchildren of employees of the company in Greenville.
Hossler called Dave Elliott, general manager of KitchenAid, the “mastermind” behind the global growth of the company.
“It takes a committed community and many committed partners to achieve what facility has,” Elliott said. “The recent expansion is a true testament to what teamwork can deliver. Doubling the size of the factory is a very, very complex undertaking, and this team did it flawlessly. The project was on cost, on schedule, and even more amazing to me, it didn’t disrupt day-to-day operations.”
Elliott thanked the workforce for maintaining its efficiency throughout the project for a record-breaking production year, and he also praised the workers for the quality of production that has made KitchenAid a worldwide industry leader.
Whirlpool Corp. announced the $40.6 million investment in operations at its Findlay dishwasher- manufacturing facility located in Findlay in February. The plant will add 86,400 square feet to the existing facility and anticipates adding approximately 50 new jobs. The expansion will provide additional assembly capacity and material space. The project is intended to support strong consumer demand for Whirlpool-built products and enhance efficiencies of operations.
“These investments in our manufacturing facilities are examples of our ongoing commitment to American manufacturing and reinforce our belief that the state of Ohio serves as a manufacturing center of excellence for appliances,” said James Keppler, Vice President Integrated Supply Chain & Quality Whirlpool Corporation. “As we celebrate the completion of our Greenville expansion, we’re proud to break ground at our Findlay facility today and continue to invest in U.S. manufacturing and jobs.”
Whirlpool Corporation continues to work to create jobs and invest in U.S. manufacturing. Since 2010, it has invested more than $1 billion in new facilities and plant upgrades. The company currently employs approximately 23,000 U.S. manufacturing workers, more than any other U.S.-based appliance manufacturer.