A little “TLC” fosters growth in Ohio

CEO of Whirlpool reinforces commitment to Ohio

Yesterday marked an eloquent address as the chief executive of Whirlpool Corp., Jeff Fettig, spoke to the Toledo, Ohio Rotary Club concerning Whirlpool’s manufacturing presence in Ohio and the planned continuance of such a presence for many years to come. “We have more assets invested in Ohio than any other state,” says Fettig, “and we have more employees in Ohio than in any other state.”

This is not a new trend for Whirlpool Corp, as they have continuously shown their commitment to American manufacturing and fostering growth in jobs and production in the United States, while many of Whirlpool’s competitors have been outsourcing manufacturing for quite some time. Whirlpool states that 82 percent of it’s sales are made in the United States, and a significant portion of that 82 percent comes out of the Toledo, Ohio plants.

Keeping with this continued trend, Whirlpool has pledged to invest $ 1 billion in its U.S. operations by 2014. Whirlpool, which is the world’s largest major appliance manufacturer, also recently insourced mixer production from China to Greenville, Ohio, and brought some operations previously done in Mexico to its Clyde plant. These moves point to a committed pledge to American manufacturing and it seems that Whirlpool plans to keep this trend going, giving hope to a depleted market that is in desperate need of rejuvenation at home.

Whirlpool is moving “American manufacturing” back to America, and due to its status, these moves might be enough to propel the U.S. manufacturing market into a more productive zone, akin to the massive stimulus that Ohio has seen due to Whirlpool’s excessive presence throughout the state. This points to a simple yet seemingly effective strategy. If you want growth, you have got to plant the seeds. Whirlpool, quite literally, has planted themselves strategically throughout the state of Ohio, and in return, Ohio has become a most profitable place and quite possibly a long-term home for the Michigan-based corporation. Five of Whirlpool’s eight U.S. plants are located in Ohio, and about 11,000 employees are working in Ohio.

Essentially, despite higher benefits and labor costs within the U.S., Whirlpool is able to offset these costs because of productivity gains and money saved in logistics. Fettig isn’t just simply playing American favorites either, as Whirlpool is making solid profit by staying with U.S. manufacturing, specifically, within Ohio. “We’re not doing is because it’s Ohio,” says Fettig, “we’re doing it because it is the right business decision.”

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