BENTON HARBOR, Mich., June 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) today announced changes to its North American manufacturing operations, including the closure of its machining facility in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
The Company's newest, most energy efficient laundry products will be manufactured at the Clyde, Ohio, manufacturing facility. As a result, the machining of components at the Benton Harbor facility will be discontinued and 216 jobs will be eliminated when the plant closes at year end 2010 or early 2011. The announcement follows a comprehensive review of asset utilization of the Company's laundry manufacturing facilities.
"Whirlpool Corporation's newest laundry platforms are the most energy and water efficient we've ever produced and these products utilize new and fewer parts," said Al Holaday, vice president, Manufacturing Operations, North America Region. "New innovations have eliminated many of the traditional components produced at the Benton Harbor facility. The new streamlined internal components will be machined at the Clyde Division."
"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," Holaday added.
Approximately 30 percent of Whirlpool Corporation's 67,000 worldwide workforce resides in the United States, with approximately 17,000 employees working in manufacturing positions. During the last year, the company's U.S. manufacturing employee base has increased 12 percent. Whirlpool Corporation has a presence in 22 communities in the United States through its warehouse, manufacturing, technology, product development and corporate offices. Through thousands of supplier and logistics partners, Whirlpool supports an additional 15,000 jobs in the United States.
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/.
SOURCE Whirlpool Corporation