ELKHART — Lippert Components and Kinro Manufacturing continue to expand, with their latest announcement bringing hundreds of new jobs to the county.
The companies, both subsidiaries of Drew Industries, announced Wednesday that Goshen and Elkhart will see a new thermo-forming operation and an expanded glass-tempering and awning operation, according to an announcement from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).
The companies plan to invest $3.65 million to start and expand and expect to begin filling 260 new jobs this fall.
They announced four expansions last year in Elkhart County, and earlier this year said they’d increased their workforce by 750 people between August 2011 and March, much of that in Elkhart County.
The expansions will help momentum in the county, said Dorinda Heiden-Guss of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.
“In general, when you hear and see positive activity and someone stepping out and adding significant jobs, that creates and builds confidence in the marketplace. It also demonstrates comfort for the culture, the environment and it builds upon itself,” she said.
Heiden-Guss also pointed out the variety brought by the thermo-forming and tempered-glass jobs. “When we see the diversification, that’s a huge plus. That requires a different skill set,” and that can help attract other industries, she said.
Lippert and Kinro employ more than 4,000 full-time workers in northern Indiana and operate a total of 30 facilities in 12 states.
“The state of Indiana, Elkhart County and the cities of Goshen and Elkhart continue to show a strong commitment to partnering with companies like ours in the RV industry so that our industry can continue to rebound from the economic downturn and also thrive in the future,” said Jason Lippert, chairman and CEO of the companies, in a written announcement. “These new and expanded operations will increase our capacity and product offerings.”
IEDC offered Lippert Components up to $1.2 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $115,000 in training grants. The cities of Elkhart and Goshen will consider additional tax phase-ins.
Lippert Components and Kinro produce a wide variety of components for recreational vehicles and manufactured homes.