Indiana jobless rate hovering at 9 percent, but state set to increase manufacturing staffing

12.29.2011


Indiana's unemployment rate stayed at 9 percent in November, but an automobile manufacturer's announced plans to add hundreds of new jobs in the next few years could create substantial manufacturing staffing.
Indiana's unemployment rate stayed at 9 percent in November, but an automobile manufacturer's announced plans to add hundreds of new jobs in the next few years could create substantial manufacturing staffing.

Indiana's unemployment rate stayed at 9 percent in November, but an automobile manufacturer's announced plans to add hundreds of new jobs in the next few years could create a substantial increase in manufacturing staffing.

The company, which builds fifth-wheel and towable recreational vehicles, released a statement on December 28 indicating its plans to add as many as 250 new positions to its current workforce by 2014. The firm currently has six plants that are located in Syracuse and Topeka and more than 600 employees. The manufacturer plans to more employees in 2012 for tasks that are related to maintenance, administrative and manufacturing functions.

A total of $3.9 million will be invested by the firm for the purpose of constructing a 93,000 square foot building that will lie next to its existing campus, according to the media outlet. Company officials expect the new building to become functional in June and will contain the Cruiser line of products.

The town of Topeka is considering providing the firm with tax benefits, and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. has already offered Crossroads RV up to $2.25 million in tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants as a result of the company's plans to hire more workers, the media outlet reports. The tax credits are conditional on people being hired. Topeka is is considering additional incentives as a result of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation asking that the town do so.

"Indiana entered the recession making about half of all RVs. Now, we're making more than four out of five," Governor Mitch Daniels said in the statement. "That's what happens when businesses in a tough economy look hard to see which state has the best economic climate."

"The new plant will give us the needed flexibility to expand our Cruiser line of RVs," Don Emahiser, president of Crossroads RV, said in the statement. "The workforce in Topeka is top-notch in our industry, and we are glad that we are able to expand at our home in this area."

Indianapolis Business Journal reports that several other manufacturers of recreational vehicles have announced plans to expand in the state. Another maker of recreational vehicles announced plans to hire as many as 200 people in LaGrange by 2014. These expansion plans should trigger significant manufacturing staffing.