By LOU WILIN
Findlay ranked fourth in the nation in 2013 among 576 peers for plant upgrades and job additions, according to Site Selection magazine.
Growth at Whirlpool Corp., Centrex Plastics, Nissin Brake and others made Findlay the No. 4 micropolitan community for new and expanding businesses, the magazine said. Findlay had 15 projects which qualified for Site Selection’s rankings based on job growth, investment or building expansion.
Ranking No. 1 with 27 projects was Wooster, Ohio. Micropolitan areas are those with populations of 10,000 to 50,000.
Rounding out the top five with Findlay and Wooster were Tupelo, Miss., second place with 19 projects; Cullman, Ala., third place with 18 projects; and Morgan City, La., fifth with 11 projects.
Findlay typically has been near the top in recent years. In 2012, it ranked second in the nation. In 2011, it was sixth. In 2010, it ranked 25th.
Boosting the local economy last year was Whirlpool Corp., which added nearly 200 employees, bringing its total to 2,215. The plant is the largest employer in Findlay and the world’s largest dishwasher manufacturer.
Whirlpool last year invested about $10 million for equipment, product and quality improvements.
Centrex Plastics added 55 jobs, bringing its total to 220. It makes plastic storage containers, tool boxes, organizers and shelving.
Nissin Brake added 52 employees last year. The supplier of brake systems, engine mount brackets and castings for Honda Motor Co. employs 1,114.
In addition, the state of Ohio was ranked second in the nation last year for the second straight year. Texas won the “Governor’s Cup” for 2013 from Site Selection magazine with 657 projects. Ohio had 480 projects.
Ohio is becoming a perennial top generator of new and expanding businesses. It ranked No. 1 in 2011 and second in 2010.
Send an E-mail to Lou Wilin