Upgrade to streamline Rubbermaid operations

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Print this page by James Heffernan

Winchester-based Rubbermaid Com­­­­­mercial Products is streamlining its operations to meet growing worldwide demand for its products.

The company is upgrading its production facility in the city and establishing a distribution center in neighboring Frederick County. The $67.25 million investment will add 71 new jobs.
“We’re committed to growth through innovation, which is reflected by the capital investment we are making in our business,” says Neil R. Eibeler, the president of Rubbermaid Commercial Prod­­­­­­­­ucts.

The company, best known for commercial cleaning and janitorial supplies, is adding high-tech, energy-efficient injection molding machines to its longstanding manufacturing facility on Valley Avenue in Winchester. In Frederick, Rubbermaid is retrofitting an existing 450,000-square-foot facility to become a logistics center.

Local officials say the company’s investment is a statement of confidence in the Winchester area.

“We have worked hard to create a business-friendly atmosphere, and this type of investment represents the dividends returned to our community,” says Winchester City Council President Jeff Buettner.

Frederick County Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard Shickle says the county welcomes the logistics facility and looks forward to working with the company to provide “the seamless business environment they need to continue their growth and expansion plans.”

Rubbermaid Commercial Products, part of Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid, has had its headquarters in Winchester since 1968 and remains one of the city’s largest employers.

Its products can be found in a variety of settings, including restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, factories, hospitals, schools, hotels, amusement parks and airports. In recent years, Rubbermaid Commercial Products has turned its attention to the global marketplace and expanded into several high-growth business segments such as public-restroom hygiene systems.

Winchester received a $300,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist with the project. Gov. Bob McDonnell also approved a $600,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership, which is available to existing Virginia companies. In addition, work has begun on transportation improvements near Rubbermaid Commercial Products’ Winchester facility, courtesy of a grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

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