Jeff M. Fettig, Chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corporation today marked the latest developments in the company’s multimillion dollar local investment initiative in the Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, Mich. community as the company officially opened its new Benton Harbor Technology Center. As employees and local dignitaries gathered for a look inside the new facility, Fettig discussed the significant accomplishments made in the Twin Cities of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph Michigan since 2010.
Four years ago the company announced plans for its new Riverview campus project as well as major renovations in the company’s global headquarters building. Today Fettig announced Whirlpool will break ground on phase three of its Riverview campus in 2015 — this phase includes a third, three-story building alongside two current buildings. The company also announced it will move forward with a third phase of renovations at its Global Headquarters facility.
With the establishment of the Benton Harbor Technology Center, the Twin Cities are now home to more than 1,200 engineers and technicians and serves as the global technology hub for all of the company’s major categories including cooking, cleaning, laundry and refrigeration. The facility is Whirlpool Corporation’s largest refrigeration technology center and focuses on next generation processes and technologies. When completed in 2016, the company will have invested $155 million in all projects.
“As an employee of Whirlpool, I recognize those who came before us and worked hard to give us a better company,” Fettig told employees. “They built this company from the ground up, which helped pave the way for us to transform what was once a warehouse into a state-of-the-art global technology center. This is not just a new facility. It is a testament to our values as a company, our commitment to investing where it counts – right here at home.”
Joining Fettig for the ribbon cutting ceremony were Dave Szczupak, Executive Vice President of Global Product Organization at Whirlpool and Mike Finney, President and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation as well as Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower and St. Joseph Mayor Mike Garey.