Editor’s Note: To see an accompanying video on this story click here.
They’re called recreational vehicles or homes on wheels, allowing families to explore all corners of the country.
But, as reported by KAAL TV, with more than 50 years of RV building experience, Winnebago Industries Inc. is recovering from its toughest challenge yet, the recession.
“It was the worst we’d ever seen…we’ve spent the last four years recovering from that,” said Randy Potts, president, CEO and chairman of the Forest City, Iowa-based builder.
During the worst of it, thousands of employees were laid off, including Stephen Thomas.
“We go in cycles where you wonder what next week is going to bring,” said Thomas.
Over time, as the economy slowly grew and people started taking more vacations, the assembly line started moving quicker and people were rehired, including Thomas, who is an electrical inspector.
“They’ve taken good care of me, and there’s good benefits,” said Thomas.
Potts credits the men and women on the assembly line with the comeback, saying he’s thankful they stuck with the company.
“I think it speaks to the work ethic and value of Midwestern people,” said Potts.
The focus now is on adding more workers to keep pace with demand. “We’re not going to wait for the market to grow back to what it was,” said Potts.