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88 Counties in 88 Days: Sandusky County, where working at Whirlpool is a family tradition

The pandemic hit Whirlpool hard, but they've made to the business and remain dedicated to preserving the history of the company here in Ohio.

SANDUSKY COUNTY, Ohio — This content is part of our 88 Counties in 88 Days coverage, which focuses on the current issues Ohioans are facing during a challenging year.

The next stop for 88 counties in 88 days is Sandusky County, where Clyde has been home to one of Whirlpool's manufacturing plants for over 65 years.

The pandemic hit them hard, but we highlight the changes they've made to the business and why it's so important in preserving the history of the company here in Ohio.

Credit: WTOL

"So today, safety has changed our behaviors have always been key of protecting each other. Now it’s taken a different turn where protecting each other is tied to social distancing, wearing a mask and each employee really accountable for each other." 

Credit: WTOL
Walls are marked at the Whirlpopl plant in Clyde, spacing out every six feet for social distancing.

"The COVID, it created new challenges in our organization while we were trying to learn what that new normal means. I would say our workforce has accepted what those new requirements are and really is helped us maintain what we need to do to be able to stay in production."

Credit: WTOL
COVID-19 safety guidance at the Whirlpool plant.

"We have communication and that changes really every couple weeks, every couple months with new learning. So as there’s new guidelines come out we have those posted and communicated."

Credit: WTOL
A digital thermometer used by employees at the Whirlpool manufacturing plant in Clyde.

"Every employee... I get it immediate, it takes about 3 seconds, and it takes my temperature. And if you have a false reading we ask you to go to our health center."

Credit: WTOL
"Made in Clyde, Built with Pride" reads the slogan at the Whirlpool plant.

"We’re in our entrance for our facility and about three years ago we just had an initiative to represent the history of our facility from back in the late 1800s."

Credit: WTOL
"This is my father – his name was James Cleveland – my maiden name was Cleveland, I’m married now. And he had that picture taken as a bonus from Christmas time."

"This is my father – his name was James Cleveland – my maiden name was Cleveland, I’m married now. And he had that picture taken as a bonus from Christmas time."

"So I’m second generation, I have a daughter here, my brother’s worked here. So it’s really a family operation here. Take a lot of pride that we work at Whirlpool and I really appreciate that they put that picture up there. Because I stop by and look at it a lot of times."

Credit: WTOL
James Cleveland, pictured around Christmas time at the Whirlpool plant in Clyde.

"This factory is CRUCIAL to this area because we provide jobs not only to Clyde and the area, but we are starting to reach out to many people. 

"We worked through the entire COVID, never missed a beat I don’t think, did we? So it was really important that we provided jobs and we were providing a product for our customers so that was really important."

Credit: WTOL