They are each strong voices for their respective political parties, which means they are at odds with each other on any given day over many controversial topics and issues. But one thing that can unite Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich and Ohio's senior Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is the return of manufacturing jobs to a state that's lost so many of them over the last 30 years.
Whirlpool Corporation announced Friday that it will make a big investment in a plant in a west central Ohio county located on the border with Indiana. A company release said the investment of $40 million will add approximately 400 jobs over the next few years, doubling the size of its Greenville operations in Darke County that focuses on small appliance manufacturing.
"The Dayton Region continues its winning streak and a strong start to 2014 with another 400 jobs being committed by Whirlpool, Jeff Hoagland, President & CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, said. "The Dayton Region continues to demonstrate that we have one of the most vibrant communities and businesses understand the value we offer."
Earlier this week Hoagland participated on a conference call with Sen. Brown on the importance of a New Market New Markets Tax Credit, which incentivizes community developers to invest in low income areas. Hoagland said Brown's bill for NMTC is "a cost effective and successful way to spur job creation and economic development."
With annual revenues of approximately $19 billion, Whirlpool Corporation employs 15,000 in U.S. manufacturing. Around the world, the 59 manufacturing and research centers employ over 69,000. Whirlpool is the world's leading global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances. Their brands include Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid and others.
The company's decision is seen as an opportunity to produce next-generation appliances that are quiet, efficient and can communicate with the evolving Smart Grid, which enables electric utility providers to automatically suggest the best time to a washer, dryer or other high-load appliances. It will help integrate renewable energy into the Smart Grid, which will further boost carbon emission reductions.
Ohio's senior U.S. Senator, Brown is arguably the Senate most outspoken advocate for the manufacturing sector, given its history of transforming Ohio from an agricultural state into a powerhouse Titan of manufacturing that helped win World War II in the 1940s and afterward, when it helped Americans see the U.S.A. in cars made in nearby Detroit with parts supplied by Buckeye manufacturers.
The Greenville plant Whirlpool will invest in and bring jobs back to opened for production in 1942. Today it produces more than 10,000 KitchenAid stand mixers per day. The 400 jobs will come over the next five years, while construction on the plant is slated for this year with a predicted completion date in late-summer of 2015.
"Whirlpool’s decision to expand production in Ohio and bring jobs back from China is a testament to the strength of Ohio’s manufacturing sector and the quality of Ohio’s workers," Sen. Brown said today. "This expansion not only boosts jobs and the economy of our state, it also proves that you should always bet on the American worker and the quality of our products."
In August 2013, Brown and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013, legislation that will support the creation of public-private partnerships like the recently announced American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) in Youngstown, Ohio.
Whirlpool said it selected the Greenville facility based on several factors, including the plant’s track record as a leader in small appliance manufacturing and the region’s highly-skilled workforce. The market driving the investment, the company said, is increased demand in European and Latin American markets for its products. The manufacturing facility now employs 1,000 full- and part-time workers.
While Sen. Brown wasn't in Greenville today, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is running for reelection based many things, the most important being his record of creating jobs, was there, along with other state and local officials.
Gov. Kasich, elected in 2010 along with other Tea Party governors in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and Maine, has privatized Ohio's hitherto pubic apparatus in the form of JobsOhio, a private and secret nonprofit he once envisioned being chairman.
"“Whirlpool's announcement reinforces Ohio’s excellence in manufacturing and highlights JobsOhio and the Dayton Development Coalition’s hard work to attract and retain jobs to the Dayton region," John Minor, President and Chief Investment Officer for JobsOhio, said today. "Supporting Whirlpool is another example of our effectiveness in developing strong relationships with world-class manufacturers growing and investing in Ohio."
Ohio Congressman and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner didn't mention Gov. Kasich by name in his statement on the investment news, but he did say that Whirlpool's decision can be attributed to "economic solutions such as low taxes, balanced budgets, and revamped workforce development," all Kasich Administration talking points about Kasich's job creation reforms.
The speaker likewise didn't mention President Barack Obama by name, when he said the news comes "despite the challenges being thrown at them by the president and his allies in Washington."
Mike Bowers, Mayor of Greenville, the county seat with a population of about 13,000, said today's news demonstrates that the local workforce has the skills needed to meet the needs of one of the world’s largest and most successful manufacturers. "Whirlpool continues to be one of our largest employees and we are committed to continuing the great partnerships which exist among Greenville, Whirlpool, the Dayton Development Coalition, JobsOhio and the State."
Sen Brown, a member of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, and Sen. Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, have co-sponsored federal legislation that would coalesce industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies and all levels of government around the goal to accelerate manufacturing innovation in technologies with commercial applications. Public-private institutes would be created to leverage resources to span the gap between basic research and product development.
Sen. Brown has introduced a package of legislative proposals designed to bolster the competiveness of U.S. manufacturers and boosting domestic manufacturing.
Based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, Whirlpool manufacturers other brands including its namesake and Maytag, and is growing with sales rising four percent to $18.77 billion last year.
The news article Whirlpool 're-shores' 400 jobs back to Ohio, Kasich, Brown unite on manufacturing good news appeared first on Columbus Government Examiner.
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