Gulf Stream Coach Inc. will get a $239,000 grant from the state of Indiana so the company can upgrade the training of current employees and train new workers.
The Nappanee, Ind. firm will use the state money to support its “Gulf Stream University” program, which, in addition to providing training in plumbing, electrical, roofing and framing, also gives employees the opportunity to earn two-year or four-year college degrees, said Brian Shea, president of Gulf Stream’s motorhome operations.
The two-year degrees are from Vincennes University, Vincennes, Ind., and the four-year degrees are available from Bethel College, Mishawaka, Ind., Shea said.
The training also will cover lean manufacturing and team management techniques, processes Shea decided to bring to Gulf Stream after visiting a Toyota Motor Corp. assembly plant in Kentucky a few years ago.
The $239,000 grant supplements Gulf Stream’s $1.8 million investment in building improvements and equipment upgrades in Nappanee and Goshen, Ind.
Gulf Stream will get $200,000 of the grant, Shea said. The other $39,000 will go to Sea Hawk, which builds the Prairie Schooner, Yellow Stone, Canyon Trail, Sea Hawk and Mako brands of laminated towable RVs.
The state money also will be used to train workers to build lightweight and ultralightweight towables, Shea added. This category includes Gulf Stream’s Streamlite brand and a “to be announced” ultralightweight brand, he said.
Gulf Stream and Sea Hawk employ a total of about 970 people.