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Goshen, Ind.-based Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. celebrated the grand opening Monday (Nov. 13) of its new plant in Burley, Idaho, with the rollout of the first recreational vehicle off the production line.
The Idaho Statesman reported that the 80,000-square-foot plant will produce Dutchmen Lite and Four Winds Lite towable RVs to meet growing demand in Western markets served by the company.
“Our new Burley operation will enable us to expand our sales in the Western United States and Canada more efficiently,” Dutchmen President Richard Florea said. “Burley is a great site for Dutchmen, thanks to its ideal location for interstate transportation.”
Dutchmen said the cost of shipping RV’s from its Indiana facility to the Western U.S. has risen dramatically with the rise in fuel prices. Shipping from Burley will result in a significant freight savings for Dutchmen dealers.
The Burley plant employs 60 workers from around the area. Estimates are for the work force to increase to 85 by the end of the first year, and to 200 within two years.
The state provided an $800,000 Idaho Workforce Development training grant to offset training costs for new employees and the city of Burley is applying for economic development grants from the state that will go toward purchasing a large water well at the plant site. The well will provide water for the city and help reduce the total cost Dutchmen will need to pay for the property.