Negative news about jobs sent the markets nose-diving last week as the Labor Department said employers hired just 69,000 workers last month, less than half of what was expected.
Despite that negative news, Monaco RV is in the process of adding 250 new jobs at its plant in Wakarusa, Ind., according to a report by WSBT TV.
Only four years ago, Monaco cut about 1,400 workers and filed for bankruptcy. Since then, the manufacturer was purchased by Navistar Inc. and employment has been steadily climbing.
“I start my job today,” David BeMiller, a new hire said.
BeMiller is just one of the nearly 250 new employees Monaco is hiring. He’s worked in the RV industry nearly his entire life, but like many RV workers, he had been laid off for several months.
“I kept on looking for jobs and it seemed like there wasn’t much of anything out there,” he said.
This is just the latest job announcement for Monaco. In August, the company consolidated its motorhome operations in Oregon with the factory in Wakarusa. That brought about 300 new jobs to the Elkhart County factory. Now, the company is ramping up production and needs to add to its work force.
“We’re ramping up production as we speak,” Bill Osborne, vice president of custom products for Navistar’s Monaco and Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC subsidiaries. “We started diesel production and we’re currently building 15 per week and are on our way to ramping up to 22 per week in late June time period.”
Osborne says adding jobs has been the plan since the move from Oregon.
Despite the most recent job numbers that were much lower than expected, he says the RV industry is on the rebound.
“What happens with one month’s job numbers may mean something for those whose business plans go to quarter to quarter, but our goal is to be in this for the long haul.” Osborne said.
Monaco RV now employs more than 550 hourly workers, plus around another 100 administrative employees.
A job fair at the Wakarusa facility was held last week.