Federal, state and local officials were on hand last Thursday as Newell Rubbermaid celebrated its investment of $26.6 million in an expansion of its Winfield plant, which will bring about 200 jobs to Kansas from Texas.
The Winfield facility, located at 3415 E. 12th Ave., 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 company plans to move 200 jobs to Kansas from Texas. The expansion projects are set to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2012.
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.
"Rubbermaid's investment in Kansas and the Winfield community extends back nearly 100 years," said U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran. "This new expansion is further evidence of their long-term commitment and will be a great economic boost for Cowley County. I commend the county and city officials for successfully creating jobs for Kansans, and I applaud the Winfield employees for their hard work to ensure the company continues to succeed and expand."
"Newell Rubbermaid's growth in Kansas is a wonderful success story," said Kansas Fourth District U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo. "Their investment in the Winfield community is a strong testament to the workers and people of south central Kansas. I look forward to continued success for the company and the community."
The company worked with the Department of Commerce, city of Winfield and the Cowley County Economic Development Partnership to make the expansion a reality.
"I am very thrilled to have worked with Winfield and Rubbermaid representatives on this expansion project," said Kerri Falletti, director, Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development Partnership. "Our dedication to supporting growth and expansion of local businesses is supported by the decision to add this work to the Winfield facility. I look forward to continued work with Rubbermaid and those involved as this moves forward."