Executives said they plan to move production of the company’s commercial front-load washing machines from Monterrey, Mexico, to Clyde. The move will create anywhere from 80 to 100 jobs in Clyde over the next three years. Manufacturing of the line is anticipated to begin in April.
“We continue to invest in advanced manufacturing processes in our Clyde, Ohio, plant where we have a highly skilled workforce, making this a smart, long-term business decision for us,” Jeff Durham, vice president of U.S. manufacturing for Whirlpool Corp., stated in a release. “We look forward to ramping up production and building this quality product, for the U.S. and abroad, right here in Clyde, Ohio” The new jobs are for tool and die makers, equipment setup operators and production assembly, said Daniel O’Brien, vice president of operations at the Clyde plant. Wages will range from $18 an hour to about $25 an hour.
The company is relocating the line to the United States so it can lower shipping costs, while increasing ease and timeliness in shipping products to Whirlpool customers. This is part of the company’s strategy of making its products where they are primarily being sold. It’s also efficient for the company, as the Clyde plant already produces the commercial top-load washing machines, O’Brien said.
It made sense to combine both the commercial top-load and commercial front-load washers into one facility.
“Consumers have one-stop shopping” O’Brien said. “We can go from production to distribution within minutes and from distribution to shipping quickly”
Whirlpool’s commercial washers are mostly found in businesses such as laundromats, hotels and colleges.
Whirlpool is the largest employer in Sandusky County. The Clyde plant is 2.4 million square feet and is the largest washing machine plant in the world, Whirlpool said.
The size allows the manufacturer to add the line without having to expand the factory, O’Brien said. There will be some equipment brought in from Mexico, although some new equipment will also be added.
Whirlpool has been in talks with the city’s economic development agency for a while, but the city could not talk about it until it was official, said Ken Dick, a Clyde councilman.
“This is great,” Dick said. “When you see them add jobs, it gives you confidence in their commitment to Clyde”
The jobs will help not just the newly hired workers, but also the economy in Clyde and this region, he said.
Whirlpool, which manufactures major home appliances such as washing machines, had about $18 billion in sales in 2012.