The days of near-full employment in the Elkhart, Indiana, area — the RV Capital of the World — may be ending.
Keystone RV announced this week that it is closing two factories, 41 and 705, in Goshen, eliminating 334 jobs from production to plant management, from quality control to receiving. Plant 41 builds Laredo travel trailers.
In a letter to employees, Keystone told workers that the closure of Plant 41 is expected to be permanent and that it planned to offer seminars covering unemployment benefits and resume assistance. It said the last day for the employees would be September 23.
“Yeah, everything was going really well, and it seemed like, all the sudden, it just, we dropped in units, and, but it was still enough to keep us, keep us going and everything,” Keystone RV Company Plant 41 worker Robert Davis told 16 News Now. “But then, just all the sudden, it came to a halt.”
Some other RV plants in the Elkhart/Goshen area are down to operating only three or four days a week.
The RV Industry Association has revised its forecast for wholesale shipments, predicting an 8.4 percent drop in 2022 compared to 2021, although shipments hit a record high last year.
Jobs are still available in RV manufacturing in the Elkhart/Goshen area, as discussed in the Facebook group Jobs in the RV industry.