There really were plenty of smiles Thursday (Feb. 7) at the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting in the crowded Crystal Ballroom at the Lerner Theatre.

And keynote speaker David C. Chavern, executive vice president and chief operating officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, agreed those smiles were there for good reason.

The South Bend Tribune reported that Chavern toured two Elkhart companies, RV maker Thor Industries Inc. and CTS Corp., before the luncheon. He cited Elkhart as a positive example of the nation’s slow recovery from the recession.

But he added, as has been seen in recent months with numerous job additions in the recreational vehicle sector, it has an advantage.

“They are ahead of the curve,” he said in an interview prior to his speech. “One of the big advantages Elkhart has is a really strong manufacturing base.

“And you are seeing a resurgence in manufacturing in the U.S., and I think Elkhart is benefiting from it.”

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