RV manufacturer expects to bring 800 jobs to Elkhart County - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

RV manufacturer expects to bring 800 jobs to Elkhart County


800 jobs are coming to Elkhart County.

"You have 800 futures, you have 800 promises of a future that you wouldn't have prior to that announcement," says Phil Hesch.

"It's a great opportunity, especially for those who are willing to learn new skills," says Gregg Fore.

Drew Industries Incorporated, the parent company of Elkhart County based Lippert Components and Kinro, is moving it's headquarters here. And with plans of expansion, that's not the only thing the county is gaining.

"Having 800 more people working that weren't working yesterday is going to be a tremendous benefit and tremendous boost to the community," says Elkhart Economic Development Director, Barkley Garrett.

Drew Industries will renovate and equip four facilities in Goshen and Elkhart. Garrett says that's just what the city needs. "This is going to be a tremendous shot in the arm for the community. Obviously the 800 jobs is not going to happen immediately, but overtime this is certainly going to provide a much need boost to the local economy."

Drew Industries primarily manufactures products for RVs.

"We can't continue to rely only on the RV industry, but that being said it is our driving force," says Garrett.

He says Elkhart needs a variety of industries to be successful, but Drew Industries is starting to diversify. They're starting to provide products for more than just RVs. They supply to the specialty vehicle markets by building parts for emergency vehicles and buses.

"Diversification is a long term process, but immediate recovery is going to be from our existing business, our existing industries. RV being one of those key industries," says Garrett.

And locals say keep the jobs coming, no matter what the industry.

"I think it shows a strength to the industry which is great for our community and great for all the employers in the area," says Fore.

While Garrett says he expects Drew Industries to move here, there is a formal process for both Goshen and Elkhart city council's to go through. In Goshen the council gave preliminary approval Tuesday. The Elkhart City Council will vote on it Monday.

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