500 plus new jobs could come to Elkhart County

Elkhart County’s economic future is looking brighter.

A flurry of planned plant expansions promises to add about 500 new jobs over the next two to three years.

Forest River Inc. is a maker of R-V’s, busses and boats that recently announced planned plant expansions in Goshen, Middlebury, and Millersburg designed to create 320 new jobs.

“They just received the first of a two-step process approval by our county council for their expansion in Millersburg as well as in Middlebury,” said Dorinda Heiden-Guss with the Elkhart County Economic Development Corporation. “Millersburg they’re actually going to employ 120 folks by the end of 2015 and Middlebury they’re going to add an additional 40 jobs to that facility on Harter Drive.”

The great news is—there’s apparently more good news to come.

“Oh, the 445 jobs, I believe are the total jobs that Forest River will announce in their diligence before government entities,” said Heiden-Guss.

Heiden-Guss says she believes Forest River will go public with two more planned plant expansions in the future.

160 of the new jobs already announced are supposed to come Forest River’s sprawling Goshen campus off Century Drive where two new plants would be built—each measuring 93,000 square feet.

“Their annual wages that they are submitting in their application are about $45,000 a year so those are good paying manufacturing jobs, sustainable wages: We’re always happy to have those types of employers expanding in our community,” said Mark Brinson, The Director of Community Development for the City of Goshen.

Forest River isn’t the only company with expansion plans in Goshen. Kinro manufacturing wants to invest $2.2 million and create 60-new jobs there.

The window maker and RV supplier would create jobs paying about $26,000 a year.

Requested tax breaks for the two Goshen projects will go before the city council on Tuesday night.

The Elkhart County Council will hold a hearing on the Millersburg and Middlebury proposals August 11th.

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