Whirlpool to Close Fort Smith Plant by Mid-2012; 1,000 to Lose Jobs by Rob Keys and Lance Turner Posted 10/27/2011 03:00 pm Updated 6 years ago Whirlpool Corp. of Benton Harbor, Mich., says it will close its side-by-side refrigerator manufacturing plant there, which employs 1,000 people, by "mid-2012." Want the Full Article? Get Unlimited Archive Access for $19.95 per Year Readers must pay to access articles older than 15 days. Articles newer than 15 days are not included in this offer. Purchase Now Already have archive access? Login to view this article.