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RV Industry Investments Creating Nearly 900 Jobs in Indiana

Two investments by manufacturers in the recreational vehicle (RV) industry are bringing up to 900 new jobs to Indiana. The Indianapolis Star reports that Fleetwood RV will hire 650 employees at its manufacturing plant in Decatur, Indiana, after a group of private investors completed a deal to purchase the company, previously known as Fleetwood Enterprises, out of bankruptcy. The Star reports that the company's president, John Draheim, says 450 terminated workers will be allowed to re-apply for positions in the new company, but that salaries will be reduced by approximately 10 percent from their previous levels. In Elkhart, Sweden-headquartered Dometic Corporation, a supplier of cooling equipment for RVs and pleasure boats, will shift some production from Sweden to its Elkhart facility, creating 240 new jobs. Inside INdiana Business reports that a 10-year property tax phase-in plan received preliminary approval from the Elkhart city council, and that additional state incentives have also been offered to the company, which will lease existing space to accommodate the expanded production. Dometic will hire 190 workers in the next 12 to 18 months, with the remaining positions filled over a four-year period. Northern Indiana has traditionally been one of the RV industry's main manufacturing hubs -- the Star reports that 60,000 people were employed in RV manufacturing and sales in the region in 2006 -- but the recession-fueled sales declines have decimated the industry.

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