More than 400 people showed up at the ceremony on Thursday,
Once complete, the 1 million square-foot plant and 400,000 square-foot distribution center is expected to add 130 new jobs to Whirlpool's 1,500 employees in Cleveland, east Tennessee.
Production at the new facility is scheduled to begin in early 2012.
reports that Whirlpool's chairman and CEO Jeff Fettig said in a statement that the company is "committed to investing in its U.S. manufacturing and distribution facilities."
The new facility will come on line as a century-old Whirlpool plant, also in Cleveland, is shut down.
Whirlpool said on Thursday that Fettig was ringing the closing bell on Thursday to mark the first day of the company's year-long celebration leading up to its100th anniversary on November 11, 2011.
Whirlpool stock is down 2.2% to $74.46 in midday trading.
-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.
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