Middleby Corp., owners of Viking Range, will bring 200 jobs to Leflore County when they relocate their Lynx Grills plant from Downey, California.
The official announcement will be made Friday morning when Gov. Phil Bryant comes to the plant, located on U.S. 82, west of Greenwood.
The grills will be made in the 87,000-square-foot manufacturing facility where Viking Range made its dishwashers from 2006 until the plant closed in August of 2015. The building where Lynx will be located is the rear of the two buildings at 62201 U.S. 82 W.
“It’s good news,” said Angela Curry, executive director of the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation.
Curry said the company headquarters would be relocating to Greenwood along with the manufacturing facility. The 200 jobs, doing metal fabrication and assembly, will be filled locally, and no one will be transferred from California, she said.
Lynx Grills are high-end home and professional gas and propane grills that can retail for more than $10,000. They’ve been manufactured since the late ’90s. Lynx and Viking Range are sister companies in Middleby’s residential luxury brand group.
“The factory in Greenwood is more centrally located in the U.S. and can better serve existing customers and be responsive on delivery options across the nation,” according to the invitation to the 10:30 a.m. ribbon cutting.
The factory had been built with $3 million in state funds and more than $12 million from Viking. After Viking and later Middleby failed to achieve the goal of hiring 250 people at the plant, most of the $3 million invested by the state was recouped in fines.
Curry said the state offered Middleby tax abatements to move Lynx operations here, and she said she expects Leflore County supervisors will follow the state lead.
“The new facility has significant investments in both state-of-the-art equipment and process,” the invitation states. “New laser cutting equipment, deburring equipment, robotic grinding and polishing equipment have been added to a work process already know for its industry leading fit and finish quality.”
The company said the facility will be based on the Lean manufacturing and flow principles. The Lean principles were designed as tools and processes that eliminate waste and increase efficiency in production.
Under Viking, the plant manufactured the Designer and Professional Series dishwashers, which had been made in Sweden. It was the last of Viking’s major appliances to be brought to Greenwood for production. The factory became Viking’s fourth manufacturing facility in the county.
• Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or email@example.com.