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Kenworth initiates Chillcothe plant expansion

April 20, 2022
Recent groundbreaking ceremony signifies start of construction on new $45 million, 105,000-square-foot test building addition in Ohio

Kenworth recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction of a new, “state-of-the-art” $45 million, 105,000-square-foot test building addition to its Class 8 truck assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio.

The expansion represents a nearly 17% increase to the 622,000-square-foot Chillicothe plant, which is located on a 120-acre site that is 50 miles south of Columbus, Ohio, according to Kenworth.

The truck manufacturer is building the new test building on the north side of the plant.

When completed in the second quarter of 2023, all testing and validation activities will relocate from current operations to the new test building, further enhancing efficiency, productivity, and quality, the company added.

“Kenworth’s major investment in the new test building demonstrates our continuing commitment to produce industry-leading Class 8 trucks, while supported by the dedication of our employees,” said Doug VanZuiden, Kenworth Chillicothe plant manager.

In addition to VanZuiden, other Kenworth Chillicothe participants in the groundbreaking ceremony were assistant plant managers J.D. Pinkerton and Jack Schmitt, and Craig McGuire, manufacturing engineering manager. Dignitaries included Tammy Eallonardo, director of economic development; Jeff Doles, board chairman; and Jeff Graham, board vice chairman—all from Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development—Matt Arnold, vice president of preconstruction operations, and Christian Simpson, preconstruction leader—both of Rudolph Libbe—and Taylor Stepp, project manager, Ohio Southeast (OhioSE) Economic Development.

The Chillicothe assembly plant recently received two 2022 Manufacturing Leadership Awards from the Manufacturing Leadership Council of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The plant was honored for its Kenworth Paint Facility and Henrob Error Proofing project. 

Last fall, Kenworth Chillicothe earned the 2021 Encouraging Environmental Excellence “E3” Platinum Award, the top award presented by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The award honors a business or organization that expands its environmental program beyond its facility and demonstrates how its environmental stewardship efforts benefit the local community, region, or larger geographical area.

Kenworth plants in Chillicothe, Ohio, and Renton, Wash., hold the International Standards Organization (ISO) 14001:2015 certification for effective environmental management systems established to help build Class 8 trucks in an environmentally sustainable manner. Kenworth’s medium-duty trucks are produced at the PACCAR Ste. Thérèse, Quebec, assembly facility, which also achieved ISO 14001:2015 certification.

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