Newell Rubbermaid expanding Mogadore, Ohio, plant

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AKRON, OHIO (Jan. 30, 9:15 p.m. ET) — Newell Rubbermaid Inc. is once again investing in one of its U.S. manufacturing plants — this time the expansion will be in Ohio.

The company announced on Jan. 30 that it will invest more than $25 million and add nearly 140 full-time jobs to its existing injection molding plant in Mogadore, Ohio, near Akron.

The company and the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce said the investment will include buying new machinery, plus infrastructure improvements. The plant currently employs more than 700.

The company picked Mogadore over Kansas for the project, according to a news release from the chamber and the city.

It’s not clear if the Mogadore project will be in addition to an expansion that Rubbermaid announced at its Winfield, Kan., plant in December, or if the Ohio project will supersede that Kansas plan.

On Dec. 22, Rubbermaid had announced that it would relocate 200 jobs from the firm’s Greenville, Texas, injection molding plant, which is slated to close in mid-2012, to Winfield. The Greenville closure will eliminate 490 jobs there.

According to the Akron chamber’s news release, a Job Retention Tax Credit from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority was “a major factor” in the decision to invest in Mogadore. The state approved a 75 percent, 15-year Refundable Ohio Job Retention Tax Credit for the company.

“Rubbermaid has a long history of investing in Ohio and we appreciate the strong partnership we have with the State of Ohio, the County of Summit and the people of Mogadore,” said J.B. Broadous, director of operations for Newell Rubbermaid Mogadore. “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 Greenville closure is part of a project announced in mid-October. As part of that same project, the Sandy Springs, Ga.-based firm is closing Rubbermaid Commercial Products’ Martinsburg, W.Va., distribution center and relocating it to nearby Frederick County, W.Va.

The Rubbermaid Commercial Products global business unit will invest $67.3 million to expand its Winchester, Va., injection molding plant and to acquire and renovate a 454,000-square-foot plant in Frederick County to house the new distribution center.

That project also involved closing the Wooster, Ohio, Home Products distribution center and moving it into an injection molding plant in nearby Mogadore, Ohio.

Rubbermaid Home Products is being replaced by Home Organization and Style, which now includes the Winfield plant and is a global business unit within the newly created Newell Consumer operating group. Newell Professional is the firm’s only other operating group.

Rubbermaid has a history of moving work from other plants to Mogadore. In 2006, the company closed a 300,000-square-foot injection molding plant in Perry Township, near Canton, Ohio, and moved the work to Mogadore.

Then, in 2009, Newell Rubbermaid closed its injection molding operation at its Graco factory in Macedonia, Ohio, and moved the injection presses to Mogadore.