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Whirlpool to add 400 jobs in western Ohio

CINCINNATI – The Whirlpool Corp. plans an expansion of a western Ohio plant that will add 400 jobs, state and regional development officials said Friday.

Gov. John Kasich and other state and local officials planned to be in Greenville for a company announcement Friday afternoon. The plant that makes KitchenAid brand mixers, blenders and other kitchen appliances and attachments already employs about 1,000 full- and part-time workers there.

The Dayton Development Coalition said Whirlpool plans a $40 million investment. The expansion will nearly double operations, with 400 jobs to be added over the next few years.

Whirlpool is a major employer in the mostly rural area about an hour’s drive south of Van Wert. Greenville’s is one of five Whirlpool plants in Ohio.

The Dayton coalition has worked with JobsOhio, the private nonprofit job-creation operation that is a Kasich initiative, on incentives to attract and retain employers.

“Supporting Whirlpool is another example of our effectiveness in developing strong relationships with world-class manufacturers growing and investing in Ohio,” John Minor, JobsOhio’s president, said in a statement.

The Benton Harbor, Mich.-based company whose other brands include its namesake and Maytag is coming off a strong year. Sales rose 4 percent to $18.77 billion last year.

Whirlpool’s chief executive, Jeff Fettig, told The Wall Street Journal that sales of KitchenAid small appliances are growing faster than overall sales of the company’s refrigerators, washing machines and other larger household appliances.

“We’ve simply run out of capacity” in Greenville, he said.

Whirlpool shares were up 11 cents, to $141.80, in morning trading Friday.