OTTAWA â€‘ Whirlpool Corp. announced Thursday that the former Ottawa W.C. Wood freezer manufacturing site will become an official Whirlpool Corp. manufacturing site, effective May 3, with 190 full-time employees.
“Everyone here is very excited to become part of the Whirlpool family and relieved that they will have a full-time job with a great company,” Ottawa plant manager Dale Rampe said.
“This is some of the best news we’ve had in a very, very long time,” Ottawa Mayor Ken Maag said.
The decision to make the Ottawa site an official Whirlpool Corp. site followed a strategic internal study that evaluated location sites for the company’s production of freezers.
“We have determined that the Ottawa facility has the potential to produce freezers under our leading portfolio of brands at globally competitive cost and quality levels,” said Alan Holaday, a vice president with Whirlpool Corp.
State officials provided preliminary financial assistance commitments to Whirlpool Corp. that supported the decision to add Ottawa as an official production site. Whirlpool Corp. anticipates the state financial assistance, which supports job creation, investment and employee training, will be approved by the state on April 26.
“The state of Ohio has been an important partner to Whirlpool Corp. in supporting the company’s strong and growing manufacturing presence in the state,” Holaday said. “We also appreciate the instrumental support of local officials. We very much look forward to being a member of the Ottawa community.”
Ottawa Community Development Director Jeff Loehrke said the news of having a global company with the fantastic reputation of Whirlpool locate in the community is beyond words.
“I know this decision by Whirlpool came after a lengthy review process and was based on many contributing factors,” Loehrke said. “I would like to thank those that made this decision possible to include federal, state and local officials, the Ohio Department of Development and most importantly those former W.C. Wood employees that literally put it all on the line to make this happen.”
Whirlpool began production with 125 employees at the Ottawa facility on Jan 18 after acquiring the assets of the bankrupt W.C. Wood Corp. W.C. Wood went into receivership on Nov. 16. About 150 employees at W.C. Wood lost their jobs when the plant shut down last fall.
With the addition of 190 jobs in Ottawa, Whirlpool Corp.’s total employment in Ohio is now about 10,000, making it the largest manufacturing center for appliances in the United States.
“Once fully operational, the Ottawa facility will be an integral part of our U.S. operations team which includes employees in production, research and development warehousing and operations,” Holaday said. “Our employees design and build the most innovative appliances in the world.”