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Whirlpool Corp. to Upgrade Tulsa Appliance Factory

BENTON HARBOR, MI — Whirlpool Corp. is investing $15 million to upgrade its factory in Tulsa, OK as part of an effort “to further strengthen U.S. manufacturing capabilities,” the company announced.

In conjunction with its own investment, Whirlpool Corp. said it will receive an additional $1 million from the state of Oklahoma. The company’s Tulsa factory produces freestanding and slide-in ranges under the Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag, KitchenAid and JennAir brands.

“Whirlpool Corp. is committed to U.S. manufacturing, and our investment in our Tulsa factory highlights our dedication not only to the Tulsa community but to our current and future colleagues in the region,” said Don Metzelaar, v.p./integrated supply chain and quality for Whirlpool Corp.

The company said it will utilize the majority of its $15 million allocation to invest in machinery and equipment that will deliver increased production capabilities, including capacity, with remaining funds to be used for building and infrastructure improvements including health and safety protocols to accommodate an anticipated increase in its Tulsa workforce.

Whirlpool Corp. has some 21,000 U.S.-based employees across nine plants, according to the company.

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Interest in Larger Homes Once Again Rising, AIA Finds

WASHINGTON, DC — For the first time in five years, homeowner interest in larger homes increased over the previous 12 months, according to new data from the American Institute of Architects’ latest quarterly Home Design Trends Survey.

The AIA’s Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2021, focusing on home and property design, also found a “robust uptick” in demand for finished spaces – such as basements, attics and garages – as well as for outdoor living space, including outbuildings such as sheds, barns and pool houses. Home designs that accommodate accessibility and aging in place continue to remain popular, the AIA also noted.

“Since households are doing more at home, they’ve been looking for more space during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kermit Baker, chief economist for the Washington, DC-based AIA. “This has included focusing more activities outdoors, and adding other buildings to their property,” Baker observed, adding that “the overall strength of the residential market has driven project backlogs at residential architecture firms to pre-pandemic levels.”

The AIA’s Home Design Trends Surveys are conducted quarterly among a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector.

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