Editor’s Note: To see an accompanying video from WSBT TV, South Bend, of the following story click here.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is applauding the RV industry for its comeback in Elkhart County.
Daniels met with industry leaders Friday (April 27) to talk about jobs, productivity and the future of the industry so crucial to the local economy.
Elkhart County was the poster child of the country’s recession. Today, Daniels says the RV industry and Elkhart County are examples of Indiana making a comeback.
Daniels boasted that 83% of all recreational vehicles are now built in Indiana, up from the mid 60s before the recession. How does that compute? “Five of every six RV’s in the nation are built right here in Indiana,” Daniels touts.
Doug Gaeddert, Forest River Inc. general manager, says since 2009 the company has added 3,500 jobs and now employs about 8,500 people. Perhaps his biggest problem is finding qualified workers.
At its peak, Elkhart County’s unemployment rate was about 20%. As of the last report, the rate was down to 9.9%, but that’s still about double the unemployment rate from before the recession.