Major Wichita employer receives $33 million grant, plans to add hundreds of jobs

A $33 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy will bring hundreds of jobs to Johnson Controls’ Wichita plant.

The company has dozens of facilities around the world but three sites will receive the money to hire more people and boost production of electric heat pumps: Wichita; San Antonio, Texas; and Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.

About 1,000 jobs will be created, with roughly 500 going to the Wichita site, Johnson Controls spokesperson Trent Perrotto said in a phone call.

The Wichita facility now has about 1,000 employees. The majority of the new jobs will be in production.

The company expects the three facilities to produce an estimated 200,000 heat pumps for residential, commercial and industrial use.

“This substantial volume will help drive energy affordability and energy security, while helping combat climate change and creating new jobs,” a news release said.

The grant is intended to increase U.S. production of five clean energy technologies, including heat pumps.

Johnson Controls estimates this will save 1.63 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from residential heating and 25 million metric tons from commercial and industrial heating per year.

These figures are “equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from more than 5.5 million gasoline-powered vehicles driven for one year,” the release said.

The entire project is valued at $66 million, with Johnson Control providing $33 million and the rest coming from the DOE grant, Perrotto said.

The company plans to fill the Wichita jobs in 2024.

“We would expect to start ramping up operations next year (in about 120 days),” Perrotto said.

Overall, Johnson Controls employs 110,000 people across facilities in 150 countries, according to the company’s website.