U.S. lawmakers visit East to West RV to encourage industry growth

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 4:49 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 6:00 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) -U.S. lawmakers toured the East to West RV manufacturing plant in Elkhart Wednesday morning, including U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski and U.S. Senator Todd Young.

16 News Now tells us why they're pushing for more growth in the RV industry.

RV manufacturers from Indiana account for making 80% of all RV’s sold in the U.S.

Growing demand for outdoor travel could mean big business for the state.

Both Congresswoman Walorski and Senator Young say they're advocating for growth in RV manufacturing.

"I can assure you that every secretary that is appointed right now in Washington sees 'RV' across my forehead when I walk into their office," said Indiana's 2nd District U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski.

"This industry supports 143,000 jobs. It generates almost $16 billion in spending in the state of Indiana alone," said U.S. Senator from Indiana Todd Young.

Executives from East to West RV signed President Trump's Pledge to America's Workers, committing themselves to expand programs that educate, train, and reskill their workers.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt says he has a personal connection to what the RV industry makes possible.

"You really do something that's much more than building a product. You build something that creates memories, creates moments, and creates perspectives that will last with those campers for their entire lives," Bernhardt said.

Even though the RV industry posted its highest number of shipments since Oct. 2018 this June, total shipments from 2019 were far greater through the first half of the year than we're seeing in 2020.

Shipments this year are down more than 18% through June, compared to the first six months of 2019, playing catch-up after shipment numbers went for a freefall in April.

Nearly 450 companies signed on to the Pledge to America’s Workers, promising more than 16 million new education and training opportunities for American students and workers over the next five years.

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