HATTIRESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg manufacturer is bringing another 75 jobs to its Hub City site.
Kohler Power Co. announced Thursday a $6 million capital expansion to its home standby generator assembly plant in the Hattiesburg Industrial Park.
The additional production capacity is expected to be up and running this summer. The expansion will bring the workforce up to 675 people.
“With this expansion, we will more than triple our current capacity for residential standby generators and take further advantage of our world-class engine manufacturing facility that we more than doubled in the last two years,” Kohler Power group president Brian Melka said in a release. “We are committed to supporting our valued dealer network and delighting the end customers that we serve.”
It will mark the second augmentation of the manufacturing site in the past three years. A 2019 expansion added 250 jobs at the Kohler plant.
“Kohler is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies,” Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said in a release. “Originally recruited to Hattiesburg more than 20 years ago, it is now Hattiesburg’s second largest manufacturing employer
“Kohler’s latest expansion announcement – $6 million in capital investments and 75 new jobs - proves that it believes the Hattiesburg community plays a critical role in its long-term success. Additionally, this announcement continues to grow the advanced manufacturing sector in our local economy.
Kyle Brandemuhl, Kohler residential/power products general Manager, said the Hattiesburg expansion came in response to a spike in demand for residential generators, especially in the Southeast and along the Gulf Coast.
“This expansion allows us to get closer to our customers and responding with quicker delivery,” Brandemuhl said in a release. “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 wild fires 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.”
The opening of the hurricane season is like an anti-holiday, a grim reminder of an unwelcome event that bears circling on the calendar nonetheless.
“Hurricane season starts June 1, and is a stark reminder that our lives are significantly disrupted when power is lost,” Brandemuhl said “It is that essential.
“An automatic home standby generator is your best defense against a power outage to help ensure safety and peace of mind.”