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 4 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 stories older than 20 days. Purchase Now Already have archive access? Login to view this article.