Sister companies Gulf Stream Coach Inc. and Fairmont Homes, both in Napannee, Ind., have partnered with a Southern Indiana university to provide funding for nearly 1,800 employees to give them a college education.
According to the Goshen News, recipients had completed at least six credit hours over the last year in courses related to advanced manufacturing and other general business procedures, which apply toward an associate’s degree in general studies at Vincennes University.
Gulf Stream Coach is a full-line RV manufacturer while Fairmont is a builder of manufactured housing. Vincennes is a two-year university with a long history of advocacy for workforce training.
“We’ve always been big believers in educating our work force,” stated Brian Shea, president of Gulf Stream’s motorized division. “Without good people, we could not hope to meet the expectations of our customers.”
The arrangement calls for the companies to pay for the program, which was initiated in 2000, while participants are responsible for textbooks. The Goshen News reported that all classes are conducted on site at Gulf Stream and Fairmont.
“It’s offered as an added benefit, besides raising the educational status of people,” Shea said.
Kelly Telschow, a human resources employee, said the program allowed her to finish her education.
“Without them doing this, I probably wouldn’t have been able to go,” she said. “I plan on staying here, and hopefully the degree will help with my current job or to advance in the company.”