Whirlpool Corporation plans to expand its operations in Tulsa with the addition of a new Factory Distribution Center.
The company says the $55 million expansion will help it streamline operations and will create more than 100 new jobs in the Tulsa area.
The Tulsa Chamber says the expansion is just the cherry on top of the jobs Whirlpool has already created in Green Country.
“There are many communities in this country that say manufacturing is dead,” said Mike Neal, president of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. “That is not the case in Tulsa. That is not the case across the entire northeast Oklahoma region.”
Construction of the new, 798,000 square-foot facility is expected to begin in mid-November 2018, with a targeted completion date of December 2019. The facility will be located near Whirlpool’s existing building at East 76th Street North and North Yale.
"This new facility will help us streamline operations, from both a production and distribution standpoint, and, ultimately, allow us to better serve our customers throughout the region," said Jim Keppler, vice president, Integrated Supply Chain and Quality - North America Region at Whirlpool Corporation. "This investment is a testament to our skilled workforce in Tulsa and our strong relationship with the state of Oklahoma and the Tulsa community. We're excited to break ground and bring this project to life."
Chamber representatives say they have been working alongside Whirlpool for decades and the company’s expansion has been in the works for years.
“Whirlpool came to Tulsa around 1996, as a result of the citizens of Tulsa County passing a half-cent sales tax,” Neal said. “They have done expansions in the past and we hope this is the first of several other expansions to come … They have been a major employer and they have been a great corporate citizen.”
"Today's announcement by Whirlpool represents yet another major investment in the Tulsa community by one of the top companies in the world," Mayor G.T. Bynum said. "Whirlpool has been a steadfast corporate citizen, and one of the region's leaders in recruiting Tulsans of all backgrounds and nationalities into their workforce. They are a model of the work we are advocating through the New Tulsans Initiative, and we look forward to ensuring they are able to continue to grow their operations in the region."
"This investment by Whirlpool will ensure its long-term viability in our state, and recognizes the strong economic growth of our economy," said Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. "We are excited to add these new jobs and investment in our state. This is another indication that our commitment to pro-business policies is helping to retain and attract a wide variety of jobs and businesses to our state."
“We at the Tulsa Regional Chamber are grateful to Whirlpool and excited to see continued success at their Tulsa operations,” Neal said. “As companies are continuing to invest and create new jobs, and I think that really sends a strong message about the strength of our economy as we approach year end and look toward 2019.”