RV manufacturing began in Northeast Indiana aroundthe 1930s and currently, 80% of global RV manufacturing now takes place there, especially Elkhart County.
RV/MH Hall of Fame, Hoosiers, Inside Indiana Business, REV Group
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IndustryWeek Answers An Intriguing Question: How Did 80% of The Global RV Production End Up In Northeast Indiana?
Editor's Note: This news item was retrieved through IndustryWeek's website via Google.
It's interesting to note that a majority of RVs roll out of this region of Indiana. Are they more skilled in engineering there? Doubt that's it. It seems like there is a more significant underlying reason. IndustryWeek takes a shot at answering this question in their article. The publication reports: As is the case in most manufacturing clusters, it all starts with a few people, an idea and a drive to be successful. In this case, it was three Hoosiers -- Milo Miller, Wilbur Schult and Harold Platt -- who according to Al Hesselbart, the former staff historian of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, “fell in love with trailers in the mid-1930s.” Hesselbart explained, in an article in Inside Indiana Business, that by 1948 Elkhart had earned the title of “Trailer Capital of the World” as 100 companies were building trailers in and around Elkhart County.
IndustryWeek writer Adrienne Selko speaks with John Sampson, CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, and relays what he t say on the matter: “We have been making things for a long time and have a lot of expertise, but the secret to our success is our approach to manufacturing in that we are able to align workforce development with the business climate and the needs of the employers.” Interesting, the RV industry has exemplified that strategy as it led the region to recovery after 2008. One of the companies instrumental in that momentum was REV Recreational Group. Its manufacturing facilities for one of its line were scattered throughout the U.S. “We decided to consolidate in this region, even though we had just built a fairly new facility in a nearby state,” explains Lenny Razo, vice president of Marketing and Sales for REV Recreation Group. Essentially, it's been speculated that keeping workers engaged in the manufacturing sector will be vital to this region that expects to create 26,000 new jobs over the next ten years.
For the full article visit IndustryWeek's website.
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