New jobs keep coming in Goshen

Goshen is in line for a double dose of triple digit job creation.

Last month, the Goshen Common Council finalized tax breaks needed for R-V maker Forest River to create 160 new jobs.

Tonight, the council gets its first look at the expansion plans of Dutchmen Manufacturing, which call for the creation of 131 new jobs by the end of 2015.

“I don’t want to say I’m getting used to it, those are phased in, those aren’t all at once, you know, those are phased in over a few years so the growth happens a little bit at a time, but certainly it’s growth and that’s great,” said Mayor Allan Kauffman, (D) Goshen.

Dutchmen plans on spending $2.8 million to build and equip a new 92,000 square foot factory. The construction is scheduled to start in September of 2012 and be completed in February of 2013.

The 131 new Dutchmen jobs would pay an average wage of $20.50 per hour.

“It’s an industry that has fed a lot of families in this county and will continue to feed families, and so we're pleased that they're doing well,” said Mayor Kauffman.

And the good news doesn’t stop there. R-V supplier Lion’s Head Specialty Tire and Wheel has plans to double the size of its Goshen factory, creating 60 new jobs by 2015. Lion’s Head now employs 40 workers.

The Lion’s Head expansion would cost $6.7 million.

“We’ve been engaged in numerous projects so far in 2012, we’ve announced over 1,875 new jobs without including Goshen City Council approval this evening,” said Dorinda Heiden-Guss, President of the Elkhart County Economic Development Corporation.

This year has already been better than last in terms of job creation in Elkhart County as a whole. 63% of the commitments to create new jobs were secured in the third quarter of what is a presidential election year. “Most people hold off in making decisions until the election is made, until the vote is in. Then that's when we see a surge of decision making happen,” said Heiden-Guss.

12 Elkhart County business expansion projects were announced in the third quarter with the potential to create 1,100 new jobs.

Most of those jobs are tied to R-V production, with one notable exception.

A company called agdia is involved in pathogen testing of agricultural products. The company has plans to build a new 50,000 square foot facility.

While agdia would create just 22 new jobs, the average pay would be $30.00 per hour and the project would allow for some diversification in the Elkhart County economy .


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