Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. formally announced Thursday (April 27) its plans to purchase a former potato processing plant in Burley, Idaho, and convert the facility for the production of recreational vehicles.
According to the South Idaho Press, the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary expects the conversion to be completed by year-end and will initially employ 80 full-time workers with plans to expand to 200 over the next two years.
A ceremony attended by local officials marked Thursday’s announcement. The newspaper reported that two RV supply companies were also in town and were considering a move into the area.
Rich Florea, president of Goshen, Ind.-based Dutchmen, said during the proceedings that because the company manufactures something no one has to have, its has the tremendous responsibility to make something good enough that people want it to be a part of their lives.
The move by Dutchmen represents the second major manufacturer to open operations in Idaho. In late 2004, Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc. announced that it would be moving into an existing facility in Twin Falls for the production of towable units.
Jayco noted that it brought the company closer to a growing Western market.