Mike Leman is looking for a few good men and women.
As reported by The Elkhart (Ind.) Truth, Leman is looking to double the work force of about 100 while rolling out two expansions between now and mid-April at Carrera Custom Painting Inc., a company acquired by Bremen-based Precision Painting Inc. in late 2011.
“This RV business, it’s either up or down,” Leman, a partner at Precision, said as many of Carrera’s workers prepared and painted recreational vehicles at the company’s facility in Elkhart, on the city’s east side. “We’re trying to grow at a reasonable rate.”
Leman said it’s not easy keeping up. The RV industry, heavily concentrated in Elkhart County, grew by 13% last year. In January the industry produced 30% more RVs than in January 2012. “We’re just trying to keep up with the demands of our customers,” Leman said as he walked into the 30,000-square-foot expansion built by DJ Construction.
That expansion will begin operations within the next two weeks, employing another 15 to 20 people.
Then, in April, Carrera will open another facility it bought and is outfitting on the city’s south side, Leman said. “We can’t just paint in any building in Elkhart County,” Leman said. They have to set up paint booths and get permits for those booths. For their customers, the RV companies, “it seems like they can ramp up production a little easier than us.”
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Responding to rising demand, Bremen, Ind.-based Precision Painting Inc. is launching a new paint shop in Elkhart and plans to add up to 100 skilled workers at the facility.
According to partner Todd Hunt, the new company will be called Millennium with hiring set to begin in April. In 2011, Precision purchased Carrera Custom Painting Inc., also located in Elkhart. The firm, established in 1995, provides high-end production painting for the RV OEM sector.
“Right now we’re running 22 units a day out of the two facilities,” said Hunt. “With the new shop, we’re looking to add another 10 units a day.”
Mike Leman, also a partner in Precision, said that demand dictated the expansion. “The last two years have been incredible,” said Leman. “We knew we would thrive when the economy improved, however, being able to bring 100 new jobs to Elkhart makes us feel great about what we are now able to give back to the community.”
Hunt reported that staffing plans are to add 10-15 workers at a time. Currently, the company is taking applications in person at its Elkhart facility on Herman Street from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.