©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

State Job Training Assistance Backs Job Creation and Retention at Whirlpool in Benton Harbor

Monday, February 14, 2005

Michael Shore, MEDC
(517) 335-4590

20 New Jobs Created, Nearly 2,700 Overall Will Benefit

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today a $300,000 Economic Development Job Training grant to help retain nearly 2,700 workers and create 20 new jobs at Whirlpool in Benton Harbor. As many as 300 existing and 20 new workers will receive specialized R&D-related training in fields such as nanotechnology and clean-room principles to help secure all Whirlpool jobs at the Benton Harbor facility by making the company more competitive in the global economy.

"These funds will strengthen Whirlpool and secure jobs in the Benton Harbor community," Granholm said. "This is the type of high-tech training and development that will make Michigan more competitive in today's global economy."

The grant is being provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

In her 2005 State of the State address, Governor Granholm emphasized the need to make Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Strengthening Michigan's workforce is part of that plan, with job training one of the tools being used to enhance Michigan's business-friendly climate.

Whirlpool has chosen Lake Michigan College to provide the training. Under the requirements of the program, the company will provide a minimum 25 percent funding match.

Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of over $12 billion, 68,000 employees and nearly 50 manufacturing and technology research centers around the globe. The company markets Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Brastemp, Bauknecht, Consul and other major brand names to consumers in more than 170 countries.

Since 1994, more than $260 million in EDJT grants have helped over half a million Michigan workers improve their skills and enhance the competitiveness of their employers.

"Being known for having a high-tech workforce is a strong asset for the state as we compete for new jobs and new corporate investments," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "This grant demonstrates our commitment to help Whirlpool and other Michigan companies keep their workers sharp and in front of the curve in this knowledge-based economy."

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.