BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Whirlpool Corporation recently unveiled a new 153,000-square-foot technology center in nearby St. Joseph, Michigan. The project exceeding $60 million expands and replaces much of the current St. Joseph Technology Center.
It is the first of a three-phase plan to redesign an iconic research and development facility that has been home to decades of appliance innovations.
“In 1911, the first electric washing machines were built in St. Joseph, Mich., and we continue to grow that legacy with the investment in this new, state-of-the-art technology center," says Whirlpool Chairman and CEO Marc Bitzer. “We are committed to this community, and to improving life at home for families around the world. This new technology hub helps enable both of these promises by creating a new space where future innovation will come to life.”
The expanded St. Joseph Technology Center is LEED Silver-certified, a globally recognized ranking of sustainability achievement and leadership. The work that is done in the new facility will be focused on delivering great consumer solutions through the washers, dryers, dishwashers, and small appliance products designed and tested there. The facility employs more than 500 technicians, engineers, designers and adjacent roles, and contains 21 testing labs.
"This $60 million investment by Whirlpool builds on the company’s longstanding commitment to Southwest Michigan,” says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “This transformative project will help Whirlpool attract top talent; put more people on paths to good-paying, high-skill jobs; and continue our mission to help anyone ‘make it’ in Michigan.”
Whirlpool says it has invested more than $230 million in new or expanded facilities in the St. Joseph and Benton Harbor communities in the last 10 years.
“This new building offers state-of-the-art technology for product design, development and testing to help address consumer needs now and for the future,” says Pam Klyn, Whirlpool executive vice president of corporate relations and sustainability. “The appliances designed within the four walls of this new technology center will represent new levels of innovation and sustainability.”
As employees begin to transition to the new building, work will continue into 2024 to complete the next phases of the St. Joseph Technology Center project, including renovation of the facade of the remaining portion and increased parking to improve access for employees.
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