Highland Ridge RV Inc. has announced plans to double production at its Shipshewana operations and create up to 65 jobs by 2019. The subsidiary of Middlebury-based Jayco Inc. says increased sales led to the $5.6 million expansion.
The company plans to break ground this spring on a 92,000 square-foot facility on its Shipshewana campus. Construction is set to wrap up in September. Highland Ridge says the expansion will allow it to double production of its Light and Ultra Lite trailers sold in the United States and Canada. Governor Mike Pence says the project is an example of why "Indiana continues to lead the nation in manufacturing employment as Hoosiers across the state produce goods that power our world."
Highland Ridge plans to begin hiring in August for positions including line workers, line engineers and receivers. The company currently employs more than 330 full-time workers in Indiana.
President Randy Graber says Highland looked at several locations outside of Indiana, but chose to stay "because of Indiana’s pro-business environment and the cooperation we received from the state, LaGrange County and Shipshewana officials," as well as the area’s "highly-skilled work force that possesses a strong work ethic."
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Highland Ridge up to $675,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. The town of Shipshewana will consider additional incentives.
The announcement is the latest sign of continuing momentum in the RV industry in northern Indiana. Highland Ridge joins companies including Talon Products, Winnebago Towables, KZRV, Lippert Components, Grand Design RV and Genesis Products in announcing expansions involving more than 1,250 jobs over the next several years.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association says about 81 percent of all RVs shipped each year are made in Indiana, with shipments expected to top 375,000 in 2016.