Technology center to be laundry, dishwasher and small appliance innovation hub
Facility to employ more than 500 Michigan-based high-tech talent
Whirlpool Corporation today unveiled a new 153,000-square-foot technology center in St. Joseph, Mich. The $60+ million project expands and replaces much of the current St. Joseph Technology Center. This 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 here in St. Joseph, Michigan, and we continue to grow that legacy with the investment in this new, state-of-the-art technology center,” said Marc Bitzer, Whirlpool chairman and CEO. “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 this new facility will be focused on delivering great consumer solutions through the washers, dryers, dishwashers, and small appliance products designed and tested here including the iconic KitchenAid Stand Mixer. 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,” said Gov. 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. Our unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in 23 years, we are moving forward on housing and community revitalization projects across the state, and we just delivered a bipartisan budget to lower costs, expand workforce programs, and power economic development. We look forward to continuing our work together to build a bright future.”
This $60 million investment by Whirlpool builds on the company’s longstanding commitment to Southwest Michigan,” said Gov. Whitmer.
Whirlpool Corp. has invested more than $230 million in new or expanded facilities in the St. Joseph and Benton Harbor communities in the last ten years. The company also invested an additional $23 million in the 80-unit Emma Jean Hull Flats housing development in Benton Harbor which opened in June.
“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,” said 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 so consumers can feel confident they are making the right choice for their lifestyle and the environment. “
Whirlpool Corp. products have continuously improved water and energy efficiency while increasing performance benefits to consumers for decades. The average clothes washers built today use nearly 78% less energy than those built in 1992, while their capacity has increased by 60%. In addition, most dishwashers developed by the company are already 3 to 4 times more water-efficient than hand washing – with the potential to save over 2,500 gallons of water per home each year.
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.