Editor’s Note: The following is an article appearing in the Elkhart Truth featuring a Q&A with Jayco Inc.’s Wayne Miller, the company’s longest-serving employee who recently retired.
Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc. has grown into the world’s largest privately held recreational vehicle manufacturer, but it started out of a family farm on C.R. 35.
One man, Wayne Miller, has been with the company from the beginning and retired on Friday (Dec. 19) after 46 years.
Miller, 64, moved from production to engineering to purchasing. He paused from his final-day festivities to answer five questions.
Question: Compare Jayco now to when you started.
Answer: When they started, we were only producing the tent campers, or fold-down campers. Production was much, much less. I think we did about four units per day. Today we’re producing, per day, in some cases, probably around 140 or 150. That’s not just fold-downs, that’s all types of RVs. At the time when I started, we had around 20 employees. Today we have a lot more, around 2,600 total with all of the divisions and plants that Jayco has. Those are two things that pop out right away. One consistent thing, the Bontragers were involved when I started in ’68, the founder, Lloyd, and his sons and family are involved today. It’s the same family who owns it..that’s unique.
Q: To have stayed with the company so long, you must have liked it. Why?
A: I certainly enjoyed the people, and the people’s what made the company what it is and what it was. I always said if I’m going to be in the RV industry and work for someone, it would be Jayco. I certainly enjoyed coming into work most every day. Just a good, solid company. I enjoyed my work. One of the things I’ve been privileged to do was work with the suppliers, the materials side of it, and that was always interesting. I was in engineering for a number of years and always enjoyed seeing new things. Seemed like every day there was something different or new we were exposed to and could utilize in the product, or at least knew it was available.
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