While Elkhart County is known as the Recreational Vehicle Capital of the World, companies in more diversified sectors are also enjoying significant growth. "I think (the economy) is a little stronger than people might realize and it’s beyond just the RV market," Welch Packaging Chief Executive Officer Scott Welch said during an Elkhart Town Hall edition of Inside INdiana Business With Gerry Dick. His company manufactures custom corrugated boxes and he was joined by Kem Krest CEO Amish Shah, who said feeding the workforce pipeline in the county with the state’s lowest unemployment rate involves collaboration among employers and educators throughout the region.
Shah cited the formation of the Goshen-based Horizon Education Alliance, which supports business, school and community stakeholders on designing, testing and adaptation projects designed to improve educational outcomes as an example of what’s working. "In our area, we’ve got all the superintendents that come together. We’ve got organizations like ETHOS (Innovation Center). I, personally, have been very involved in a lot of these programs to try and bring — for me — entrepreneurship programs to youth, but we really have a great platform for education," said Shah.
Welch says Elkhart is rich with a variety of industries. "It’s more balanced than people see," he said. "There’s a lot of small manufacturing companies that produce plastic and rubber and wood and metal that people never even here of and so there’s a lot of small manufacturing in Elkhart that supports into the RV markets, but also they diversify into the industrial markets, as well."