Newell Rubbermaid will expand its presence in Winfield by relocating 200 jobs from a facility in Texas to the south central Kansas community. Rubbermaid also will invest $26.6 million to expand its operations, an announcement that drew praise from Kansas government and business leaders.
"The continued commitment Newell Rubbermaid has shown to Winfield and to Kansas is certainly great news," said Gov. Sam Brownback. "This expansion and the jobs associated with it will provide a much needed economic boost to Cowley County. I wish Rubbermaid every success moving forward."
Newell Rubbermaid's Winfield facility currently manufactures Rubbermaid outdoor storage and outdoor living products, as well as insulated water coolers and ice chests. Capacity will be increased to add manufacturing of Rubbermaid outdoor refuse and home organization products. In addition, the company will construct a new 500,000 square-foot distribution center adjacent to its current facilities. The expansion projects are set to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"Rubbermaid has a long history of investing in the Winfield community and we appreciate the strong partnership we have with the state of Kansas and the people of Winfield," said Michael Grant, director of operations for Newell Rubbermaid Winfield. "Together with our dedicated employees, we are proud to continue to offer our consumers innovative and quality products made in the U.S.A."
The Winfield plant has a history that dates back to 1916, when H.P. Gott founded Gott Manufacturing to produce metal water coolers. The introduction of plastic components throughout the 1960s led to the first "all plastic" water cooler and many other breakthroughs in the consumer products industry. The product line has been expanded and facilities have undergone massive changes since those early days. Rubbermaid acquired Gott Manufacturing in 1986 and has continued the tradition of outstanding product quality and innovation.
"The city of Winfield appreciates the opportunity to grow local business, and we are excited that Newell Rubbermaid will be expanding operations in Winfield," said Mayor Taggart Wall. "Rubbermaid has a long history in Winfield. We appreciate Rubbermaid working with our local and state economic development partners in making this expansion happen, and we look forward to continued opportunities for employment growth with Newell Rubbermaid."
The company worked with the Department of Commerce, city of Winfield and Cowley County Economic Development Partnership. At the state level, the company is eligible for certain incentives, including Promoting Employment Across Kansas (PEAK), Kansas Industrial Training (KIT) funding, and other programs designed to expand the Kansas economy and create jobs.
"This win is a testament to the dedicated, skilled workforce in Winfield, as well as the ability of the state and local economic development groups to coordinate their efforts to achieve success," said Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George. "We are working hard to promote the benefits of Kansas as a great place for business."