Six hundred people in Wakarusa, Ind., waited in line for an hour Monday (March 9) and Tuesday to apply for just a few jobs. And surprisingly, those positions were for an RV manufacturer that recently began operating.
According to a report by WSBT-TV, Cozy Traveler has set up shop in the small northern Indiana town. The company ran a classified ad in the Elkhart Truth soliciting applications.
When contacted by RVBusiness, co-owner Bob Wyman indicated the company was close to coming out with its prototype for a “small, lightweight trailer.”
He also said that the company had “several owners,” but did not offer any more information. Wyman said that he was previously involved with Sunset Park & RV Inc. in Shipshewana, which, according to its website, builds a Cozy Traveler trailer.
Calls to Sunset Park by RVBusiness were not returned.
WSBT reported that Ryan Newcomer was among those putting in an application with Cozy Traveler. Both he and his wife were recently laid off.
“There were a lot of people here parked in the driveways and in the roads,” said Newcomer. “It was difficult to find a place to park.”
Wyman said he knew there was a need in the area.
“We were besieged,” said Bob Wyman, co-owner. “There’s desperation.”
“They ran out of applications and had to run down to the store and print more applications,” added Newcomer.
Cozy Traveler is just a few footsteps away from the former offices for Monaco Coach Corp. in Wakarusa. The company is aware of some of the risks with the RV industry. Officials say their lightweight models are more affordable for consumers, therefore increasing their chances for success.
“We believe that this product is very sellable,” Wyman said. “Even in this market.”
And Wyman adds the company has access to a number of dealers, ready to have something to sell on the lot.
“There’s a lot of dealers that because of financing and so forth are not being able to move a lot of product they have,” Wyman said.
The RVs weigh less than a ton and don’t require a lot of power to move.
“We’re almost completely different than anything that’s being done,” Wyman said.
And that’s attractive to Newcomer.
“It’s nice to see a bright spot – a company like this that’s small and growing,” Newcomer said. “The downsize in companies has affected a lot of people.”
The company is optimistic, but promises to grow with their demand. Workers construct one RV per week, with plans to build up to three in that time.
If there is enough interest in their products Cozy Traveler plans to add 30 to 40 people to the team.