Kohler Power Expands Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Operations
Kohler Power has had a manufacturing presence in Hattiesburg since 1998. The new manufacturing line will encompass approximately 80,000-square-feet of one of Kohler’s Hattiesburg facilities. Kohler will be expanding into an additional 187,000-square-foot space to increase its engine warehousing operations in the third quarter of this year, bringing the company’s manufacturing and warehousing space in Hattiesburg to more than 900,000 square feet.
“This expansion allows us to get closer to our customers and respond with quicker delivery. Over these last couple years, we have seen demand for residential products skyrocket due to a number of factors, including a record hurricane season in 2020, the Texas winter storms, increasing wildfires in the western U.S., along with the pandemic sending a high number of people home for work and school. An increasing number of consumers are speaking with their wallets, prolonged power outages are no longer acceptable due to severe weather events and an aging power grid,” noted Kyle Brandemuhl, General Manager, Residential and Power Products, Kohler.
According to the Mississippi Development Authority, the expansion will meet the demand for reliable power, which is escalating throughout the U.S. as a result of homeowners’ dependence on it and the increasing rate of severe weather events. The addition of the new jobs will bring the company’s total employment in Hattiesburg to approximately 800.
“Kohler’s significant expansions in its Hattiesburg operations demonstrate to the country and to the world that Hattiesburg is a great place for business and that the area’s workforce is one of the best around – always ready to produce and deliver the top-quality products that have made Kohler a household name. I congratulate the Kohler team and its dedicated employees on yet another milestone in our great state, and I look forward to the company’s continued success in the Pine Belt Region,” said Governor Tate Reeves.
The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for equipment relocation and the build-out of the manufacturing space for the new generator manufacturing line. The company also qualifies for the Advantage Jobs Rebate Program, which is for eligible businesses that create new jobs exceeding the average annual wage of the state or county in which the company locates or expands. Forrest County and the city of Hattiesburg are providing property tax exemptions in support of the project.
“MDA is excited to support Kohler’s latest expansion that brings more manufacturing jobs to Hattiesburg. Every single day, both at home and at work, millions of people all over the country depend on Kohler’s products to perform successfully and at the highest industry standards. We are proud our workforce is entrusted to play a large role in the production of those products, and we thank the Kohler team for once again turning to Mississippi for their latest expansion,” MDA Executive Director John Rounsaville said.
In March 2019, Kohler announced it was consolidating engine manufacturing operations from Wisconsin to Hattiesburg, creating 250 new full-time jobs in addition to the 350 workers already employed there. Kohler has operated in Hattiesburg for more than 20 years, producing engines primarily for residential turf equipment. Since 2018, the company has also produced a variety of commercial engines for both the turf and industrial business sectors.
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