Keystone RV Co. is looking to hire 300 new employees to meet continued demand for its products, according to a report in the Elkhart Truth.
The latest round of hiring marks the largest in the history of the 9-year-old Goshen-based towable manufacturer, and will push the company’s employment in Goshen well in excess of 3,000, said Don Clark, senior vice president. Since March 2004, Keystone has added 680 people to its work force.
Keystone, a subsidiary of Jackson Center, Ohio-based Thor Industries Inc., is coming off a record year in which sales topped $1 billion. Clark said wholesale shipments rose by 30% in the past six months and are continuing at “a phenomenal pace.”
“All of our brands are doing well in the marketplace, which is unusual for a company with this many brands,” he said, noting the company offers 16 different travel trailer and fifth-wheel brands.
“We’re looking for manufacturing people, some supervisory positions and also sales,” Clark said. “Experience is obviously welcome but they don’t necessarily have to have RV experience.”
Clark believes the local work force will provide the workers Keystone needs. He added that positions will be full-time, pay competitive wages and offer production bonuses.
Some of the new hires will be assigned to the 60,000-square-foot plant scheduled to open in the next two to three weeks. That plant will produce the Raptor, the company’s sport utility vehicle fifth-wheel. Keystone introduced the new product a year ago as a fifth-wheel trailer and added a travel trailer version late last year.
The move of the Raptor line into the new factory will open up production space for Keystone’s Montana line, the No. 1 fifth-wheel brand name in the industry, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
In addition, Keystone will open a new, state-of-the-art lamination plant later in the year, which will accommodate some of the new hires.
The builder also will be ramping up production of some brands at its plant in Pendleton, Ore., adding between 50 and 60 workers to that work force, Clark said.
“We’re going through an incredible growth spurt,” Clark said. The two new plants in ’05 come on the heels of four other new plants in the previous 18 months. The new plants will bring Keystone’s manufacturing space nationally to nearly 1.6 million square feet.