Jayco Inc., a recreational vehicle developer and manufacturer, announced plans today to expand its headquarters here, creating up to 65 new jobs by 2015.
Jayco will invest $2.9 million to add a 77,000-square-foot extension to an existing 62,000 square-foot facility in Middlebury. The new addition, slated to be complete in May, will house production for Entegra Coach, the company’s high-end motor home line.
“Jobs announcements from RV manufacturing leaders like Jayco further prove that Elkhart County is coming back stronger than ever,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels. “Elkhart remains the RV capital of the world and is a major center of economic strength for Indiana thanks to our state’s enterprise-friendly policies and remarkably skilled workforce.”
Jayco, which currently employs more than 1,700 Hoosiers on its 373 acre-campus in Middlebury, plans to begin filling additional manufacturing positions this spring.
“Northern Indiana has been our primary base of operation since the company was founded in 1968,” said Wilbur Bontrager, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Jayco. “The strengthening economy, Jayco’s market share growth, available labor force and Indiana’s business-friendly environment all combine to give us the confidence to make this expansion move now. We look forward to continuing to work with both state and local government to create jobs and to boost our company’s momentum.”
Founded in 1968 by Lloyd J. Bontrager in two chicken coops and a barn, Jayco has grown to become the third largest recreational vehicle manufacturer in the United States and Canada, selling to more than 500 dealers around the world. With the goal of being landfill free by 2015, Jayco recycled 5,438 tons of wood, 1,332 tons of scrap metal and 793 tons of cardboard last year.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Jayco, Inc. up to $775,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The town of Middlebury supports this project at the request of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County.
“The town of Middlebury is pleased to see that Jayco is doing well,” said Mark Salee, town manager of Middlebury. “The town is committed to supporting all the businesses in Middlebury, especially a company such as Jayco. This expansion of the Jayco facilities is a good sign of economic growth in our community.”
Earlier this year, Daniels met with recreational vehicle company executives at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart to discuss the comeback of the industry in Indiana. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, the RV industry produced 252,400 units nationally in 2011, a 41 percent increase from the year before. More than 83 percent of all American-made RVs built during this time period were produced in Indiana.