Places that MatterWorkplaces matter. And they tell stories too.
Benton Harbor & St. Joseph, Michigan
Southwest Michigan — more specifically the cities of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph — houses Whirlpool Corporation’s global and North American headquarters, as well as several technical, research and customer service facilities. The area is also the focus of the first episode of the “Places that Matter” photojournalism project launched this fall from the corporate newsroom at Whirlpool Corporation.
Welcome to Carinaro, the EMEA Spare Parts Center
Over all these years, we have repeated one simple thing: this factory is ours. It is ours because we have loved it, taken care of it, defended it as if it were our home. And when we say home, we say our families, our future in a land that is also ours, one which by nature is lush with fruits and artistic treasures, yet barren when it comes to jobs.
Welcome to Cassinetta, the EMEA hub for built-in microwaves, refrigerators and ovens
We’ve printed it on a poster, an x on a yellow background and a few words: “We’ve always done it this way”. And below, in smaller print, “The most dangerous phrase in business”. If we had always done it in the same way, we would still be living in the Neolithic pile dwellings of Isolino Virginia on Lake of Varese, just a few minutes from our factory.
Cleveland, Tennessee — “The Little Plant That Could”
Whirlpool Corporation’s current plant in Cleveland, Tennessee — which is also the company’s newest — is the largest employer in the county, producing a variety of cooking appliances for multiple brands. The facility was built just a short drive from the former plant location that operated in the area for decades under a variety of brand names before finally becoming a Whirlpool manufacturing facility after the acquisition of Maytag Corporation in 2006.
Clyde, Ohio: A Small Town Full of Big Hearts
Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life is a 1919 series of short stories written by American author Sherwood Anderson. The series is set in a fictional town loosely based on the author’s childhood memories of Clyde, Ohio. Now, nearly 100 years later, it’s considered one of the most influential portraits of industrial small-town life in the U.S.
Welcome to Comunanza, where we produce front-load washers and washer dryers
One of us, as a child, worked in the field where the factory was later built. Many of us saw the first stone laid. This is just to say that we have roots in this factory, as we do with our land. And for years we have also been deeply attached to our founder. Vittorio Merloni arrived here in his helicopter and we accompanied him through the lines. In 1975, we produced 50 washing machines a day; today we produce about 4000, all high-tech, high-end products.
Isithebe, South Africa
Welcome to Isithebe, the home to the production of free-standing refrigerators and upright & chest freezers
For at least six centuries, many set their name upon this territory. The immense region where our factory is located is called KwaZulu-Natal. KwaZulu means “place of the Zulu” while Natal refers to the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama who landed on this coast on 25 December 1497.
Welcome to Lipetsk, the EMEA pole for refrigerators and washing machines
In 1703, Peter the Great decided to transform a village on the banks of the Lipovka River into the most important metallurgical centre in Russia. It had iron mines, a waterway, highly-skilled manpower and a strategic position in the centre of the empire. The project must have been truly dear to the Tsar given that he had celebrated the birth of St. Petersburg earlier that same year. In 1779, his daughter, Catherine the Great, officially named the new city Lipetsk, in homage to the linden trees, called lipa in Russian.
Welcome to Łódź, home to production of free-standing refrigerators, cookers and hobs
It is written “Łódź” but it is pronounced “uch”. It is written “Poland”, but in the last three centuries it has been Prussia, Germany, Russia and only since the 90s have we come home again. It is us; we are Polish. Indesit came in 1999. At one time, we produced jeans in this same factory. In effect, we inherited the industrial destiny of our city, which had become one of the most important centres of textile production in Europe in the mid-1800s. It was a cosmopolitan, modern city with factories instead of castles and palaces, red brick factories. And today one of them is the largest shopping mall in all of Poland.
Welcome to Manisa, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where we produce refrigerators and washing machines
Anyone who lives in Manisa has a great future ahead. And that has been true ever since the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, who lived in our city from 1513 to 1520. At that time, he was a prince, and soon he would lead the Ottoman Empire to its greatest heights of splendour. But he was also a loving son. When his mother got sick after the death of her husband, and no one was able to cure her, Suleiman called for Merkez Muslihiddin Efendi, director of the theology school of Yavuz Selim mosque and doctor in a small hospital.
Welcome to Melano, home town of Aristide Merloni and the EMEA hub for the hobs production
The origin of the name of our city is us, our destiny, our vocation. The name Fabriano comes from the Latin faber, meaning smith or craftsman. And over the centuries, our vocation of making and building has distinguished us and carried us far. We can boast being one of the oldest and most famous paper mills in Italy. We can boast Gentile da Fabriano, the magnificent International Gothic painter, and even back then we felt part of a larger story. And we can boast Aristide Merloni, born here in 1897. All in all, this is a family adventure that has gone global.
Welcome to Naples, the EMEA hub for the front-load washing machines
It was 1963 when Giovanni Borghi inaugurated our factory, and in that year a beautiful song, Claudio Villa’s Jammo jà, was heard all over Naples. Come on, let’s go said the lyrics. Come on, let’s go, a new day has dawned, a new season, a new technological era.
Welcome to Poprad, where we produce front & top-load washers
We have always been at the centre of important communication routes and great historical destinies. We have always been strategic, ever since 1256, when the name Poprad appears for the first time in official documents. We were already famous then for the skills of our artisans and the beauty of their creations.
Welcome to Radomsko, a city of rich history in the heart of Poland, where we manufacture dishwashers and washing machines
In December there was just a snow covered expanse, never ending countryside with dark trees dotting the white landscape. In the spring of the following year pillars of the new factory appeared out of the ground. It was 2007 and Radomsko was reborn. Vittorio Merloni, however, was not the first Italian to be attracted to our town. In the early sixteenth century Bona Sforza, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Sforza and Isabella of Naples, wife of Sigismund I the Old, King of Poland, had a Franciscan Monastery built not far from our factory.
Welcome to Siena, home of the Palio horse race and the EMEA hub for horizontal freezers, ice makers and single-door refrigerators
When you say Siena, you say Palio. And no one can blame us if we only like to speak of the Palio among ourselves. If you were not born here, in one of our city’s seventeen contrade, you cannot understand the hate or the love. And you cannot understand that for us, taking a long trip, going abroad, can mean just going to Florence.
From ‘Home on the Range’ to ‘Home of the Range’
Tulsa, Oklahoma has reinvented itself several times during its history. Once called “The Oil Capital of the World,” today, only a small portion of the once-famed oil operations from the early 1900’s still remain. Before the oil boom, the Oklahoma Territory was originally opened for settlement through races called “Land Runs.” In 1889, thousands of hopeful pioneers made their way to the territory to participate in these dramatic races for land, which started with the crack of a gunshot.
Welcome to Wroclaw, home to the free-standing cooling and built-in ovens
There is a time in everyone’s life when everything is perfect: in winter, under a glassy sky, walking together along the banks of the River Oder whose waters reflected the two bell towers of St John’s Cathedral, in Ostrów Tumski the oldest part of Wroclaw, the island in the middle of our river. Romantic, certainly, but many of us have stories full of romanticism, challenges, exaggeration.
Welcome to Yate, home to the aircraft manufacturing industry and to today’s state of the art tumble dryer assembly lines
When we started in 1917, the sky was still as untouched as it was when the world began. The first contrails to cross it were those of our planes. We were the Royal Flying Corps repair workshop. George Parnall, a man of great vitality, arrived in 1925, and that was when we began building planes piece by piece.