There is plenty of hiring on the horizon at an Elkhart County RV company.
Enough to lure the governor to town to celebrate the grand opening of Grand Design RV.
“I mean truth is 83 percent of all domestic manufactured RVs in this country are made in Indiana and so it’s great to see the industry attracting the type of investment that brings about a place like Grand Design,” Governor Pence said.
Mike Pence started his term as governor in January—the same month Grand Design shipped its first unit. Yet today, the two ‘new kids on the block’ celebrated Indiana job creation the old fashioned way.
“From the outset of our administration we said we want to make job creation job one and one of our strategies is to increase investment in our traditional areas of strength including manufacturing,” Governor Pence said.
Grand Design could earn up to $2.8 million in state assistance if its plans to create 500 new jobs at its plant near Middlebury materializes.
Although Grand Design just opened up last fall and has just one of five planned production lines up and running, there are already 100 plus people on the payroll.
Right now we have about 112 to 115 employees, on line one,” said Grand Design’s Don Clark. “We, we have plans to continue to increase that workforce up to 120, 125 people. Line two; we're just about to start. We'll start that in June. We plan on working that up as it ramps up to about 125 people as well.”
The company admits that its success in the marketplace depends on cutting into someone else’s market share.
“The question is, is, are we really creating jobs or are we just taking jobs maybe away from somebody else,” said Grand Design Co-Owner Bill Fenech.
Well first and foremost we are Indiana based so there are a few manufacturers that are building in other states so, I think we truly are creating some jobs. I think the market is experiencing some growth so we're seeing some tailwind for all of us all manufacturers which is a good thing for our industry.”
While Grand Design is accepting state tax credits and job training dollars, it will not apply for local property tax abatement.