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Whirlpool Invests $80 Million in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph

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Whirlpool Corporation, founded in 1911 and the world’s leading kitchen and laundry appliance company today, is planning to invest more than $60 million to rehabilitate and reconstruct its Global Laundry and Dishwasher Technical Center in the city of St. Joseph. The investment is part of the company’s innovative approach to business growth and talent attraction in the region.

The new Technical Center will involve the demolition of a four-story building, construction of a new facility, and renovation of the existing space that will remain. The current and future buildings are to be utilized as office space and laboratory testing of pre-manufactured home appliances. Whirlpool Corporation will retain 400 full-time engineering, research and development, and administrative support positions, all of which average $140,000 in annual wages. With its global headquarters in Benton Harbor, Whirlpool Corporation has 78,000 employees and 57 manufacturing and technology centers located around the world.

Through a partnership with Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment LLC, Whirlpool Corporation also plans to construct Harbor Shores Apartments, a multi-family development with 80 apartments and 120 parking spaces, which is anticipated to result in $20.9 million in total capital investment in the city of Benton Harbor. By coupling the investment in new housing units with the redevelopment of the nearby Technical Center, Whirlpool Corporation will be able to generate positive business impacts, including the ability to attract and retain needed talent while offering housing options.

In collaboration with Whirlpool Corporation’s anticipated improvements to its St. Joseph Technical Center, Cornerstone Alliance was previously awarded a grant through the 21st Century Jobs Fund in the amount of $1.2 million to coordinate development and construction of a pedestrian bridge to connect the city of St. Joseph and the city of Benton Harbor over the Paw Paw River, to create better access to the St. Joseph Technical Center.

As a result, the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) today approved a Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant in the amount of $750,000 for Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment LLC. It also approved a brownfield work plan for the Berrien County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority including state tax capture in the amount of $1,894,405 for the reimbursement of brownfield activities at the Technical Center. Additionally, the Board approved an amendment to Cornerstone Alliance’s Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund grant agreement to extend due dates as needed and reflect the updated project scope.

The MSF Board operates as the funding mechanism of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The project aligns with MEDC’s strategic plan by helping support 400 high-paying jobs in the focus industries of engineering, design and development, and professional and corporate services while supporting workforce housing that allows talent to continue living and work in the state.

“The approval of this project brings together Whirlpool Corporation’s commitment to innovation with the tools for attraction and retention of outstanding talent,” said Donald D’anna, Vice President of Global Tax at Whirlpool Corporation. “We’re thankful for the support of the local community and of the state of Michigan that is enabling our global laundry and dishwasher technology facility to be rebuilt with the advanced equipment and processes we need to stay competitive, as well as approving and supporting the construction of an 80-unit development that offers even more great living options for employees of our company and residents of Michigan’s Great Southwest.”

“For more than 100 years, Whirlpool Corporation has been headquartered in Benton Harbor, and this project exemplify Whirlpool’s ongoing commitment to our residents and the State of Michigan,” said Rob Cleveland, President of Cornerstone Alliance. “Whirlpool’s position as the global leader in home appliances is unrivaled, as is the company’s commitment to diversity, the environment and Corporate Equality. This project will employ and house hundreds of high-skill, high-wage Michiganders in modern, state-of-the-art facilities and will bring new people to our community. In today’s extremely competitive environment, we are grateful for the support shown by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund.”

For information on careers with Whirlpool Corporation, visit https://www.whirlpoolcareers.com/.

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