The Elkhart-Goshen area was ranked No. 8 on a Top 10 list of American cities adding the most jobs since the peak of the recession.
Stacey Page Online reported that Wall Street 24/7 compiled the list, which examines metropolitan areas that have experienced the largest job growth from June 2009 to June 2012. The website highlights the continuing rebound in the Elkhart-Goshen area, which was hammered during the recession when its dominant recreational vehicle industry took a hit.
According to the report, “Few metropolitan areas were hit harder by the recession than Elkhart. Known for its manufacturing of recreational vehicles, the area’s unemployment rate shot up to 18.2% by June 2009 when demand for those products dried up. However, companies such as Drew Industries Inc. have been bringing back those jobs to the region as demand has recovered.
“The percentage of people unemployed decreased by 51.1% from June 2009 to June 2012, the second largest drop of all metro areas surveyed. The manufacturing sector, by far the largest employment sector in the area with 54,000 workers as of June 2012, has grown in headcount by 12.7% from the prior year. The manufacturing sector added 7,200 jobs since January 2012 alone.”
The ranking comes on the heels of news that Elkhart native David Gundlach, who died suddenly last October, left $125 million to the Elkhart County Community Foundation. The gift is larger than all but five such bequests in all the United States last year.
The gift can assist any not-for-profit organization that benefits Elkhart County residents, even those not headquartered in the county. Decisions about distribution will be made by foundation officials in the future.
Gundlach, who earned a degree in history from Chapman College in 1979, held real estate licenses in California and Hawaii, worked at IBM in California and went to Lloyd’s of London before he founded an insurance company in England, which he sold 10 years later.