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Editor’s Note: The following is an editorial generated by the Goshen News highlighting the impact of the RV industry on Elkhart County’s economy, which was the focus of Thursday’s (May 14) RV Industry Power Breakfast. To view the full editorial click here.

Thursday, the recreational vehicle industry received much-deserved recognition for its positive impact on our local economy and we would like to throw in our two words — “well done.”

About 740 people gathered inside the cavernous conference center at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart for the third annual RV Power Breakfast sponsored by the staff of RVBusiness. A parade of industry executives and politicians took the stage to talk about the industry. Soon, the event turned into something akin to a best-seller with each chapter written by a different author.

Richard Coon, the retiring president of the industry’s trade group the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, talked about how RV shipments are continuing to rise this year. RVIA chairman and CEO of Jayco, Derald Bontrager, praised those attending for being the envy of other industries because of the willingness to work together to make the RV industry better. Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann said the industry’s growth has been amazing and the thousands of new jobs created have pushed the local unemployment rate down to 4.5 percent.

But it was Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman who summed up local feelings when he said, “We certainly understand that this is the most significant industry that we have ever seen in this county.”

We agree.

Of all RVs made in the United States, 84 percent are manufactured in Elkhart and LaGrange counties. This year the RVIA is projecting 380,000 RVs will be manufactured and shipped to dealers. Those units account for tens of thousands of local jobs in the RV industry. In turn, the wages earned by RV employees are turned around in our communities as house and car payments, purchases of groceries, movie tickets, clothing sales, ice cream cone treats, etc. The success of the RV industry means success for many other businesses in Elkhart and LaGrange counties.

Of course we have other industries thriving in the two counties, but it is the RV industry that is driving our economy forward at a rapid pace.

To view the full editorial click here.