KOHLER expansion creates 250 Mississippi jobs

An engine manufacturer will move all of its North American operations to Mississippi. 

KOHLER Engines has already manufactured lawn mower engines in Hattiesburg for the past 20 years, and the company has now decided to consolidate their Wisconsin operations into their Mississippi facility. According to the Mississippi Development Authority, every gasoline or diesel engine that KOHLER produces in the U.S. will be made in Hattiesburg. 

The expansion of the operation will create 250 jobs in addition to the 350 Mississippians that they currently employ. 

“The name KOHLER is synonymous with quality. The company is known around the world for its high-quality products, so it makes sense they would increase their engine manufacturing capabilities in Mississippi – home to the most talented, productive workforce found in the U.S.,” Governor Phil Bryant said.

As a result of the decision to consolidate, the company will lease an additional 300,000 square feet in a Class A industrial building in the Forrest County Industrial Park.

“KOHLER Engines is proud of our 20-year relationship in Hattiesburg, and we appreciate the support of the community and the state of Mississippi. This consolidation to our plant in Hattiesburg will help us serve our customers better by giving them a single source for all of our twin-cylinder gasoline engines. Our business continues to grow, and this development makes our operation even stronger and more capable of delighting our customers in the future,” said Brian Melka, president of KOHLER Engines.

The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for equipment relocation and workforce training. Forrest County and the city of Hattiesburg are providing assistance for public infrastructure improvements, as well as ad valorem and Freeport tax exemptions.

“The state of Mississippi values its partnership with KOHLER, whose employees in Hattiesburg take pride in quality craftsmanship, enabling the company to achieve its goals in Forrest County,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. “We salute the teamwork of our partners at the Area Development Partnership, the city of Hattiesburg and Forrest County, which, along with the MDA team, was instrumental in bringing hundreds of new career opportunities to the people of the Pine Belt region.”

The expansion is slated to be completed over the next 12 months. KOHLER expects to fill the 250 new jobs over the next two years as the company ramps up production at its new facility.