ELKHART — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence joined Drew Industries executives at the company’s recently moved headquarters to mark the move.
“This is a great day,” Pence said. “It is wonderful to be in the third-fastest growing county in the United States, Elkhart County, Ind.”
He called the move of Drew’s headquarters from New York to Elkhart “a real success for Elkhart County, and this is a success for the state of Indiana.”
Drew Industries, parent company of Lippert Components, Inc., and Kinro, is a major supplier to the recreational vehicle industry.
The company announced plans in April to invest $12.75 million to renovate four facilities in Elkhart and Goshen, two months after it announced plans to move its headquarters here from White Plains, N.Y.
The company continues to expand manufacturing operations in Goshen and Elkhart, with plans to add up to 800 new jobs by 2017.
Lippert and Kinro employ about 4,200 people in Elkhart County and another 225 in Indiana outside the county.
Drew billed its move to Elkhart County as cost effective and something that will provide closer collaboration between Drew’s management team and executives across the RV and manufactured-housing industries, both heavily located here.
Pence said, “the RV market is coming back stronger than ever and it’s going to be centered here in the state of Indiana for generations to come.”
Jason Lippert, Drew CEO and third-generation company leader, said the move is “a symbol of how far we’ve all come together.”
He said Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore and Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman have been supportive, and Lippert said, “I want to thank our great customers, because without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.” He detailed the company’s growth and said, “We are the largest supplier in the RV business.”
Moore said to Drew’s gathered leaders and employees, “you have become one of our largest employers,” and credited them for their economic impact.
Jim McKee, president of the Goshen city council, said, “We’re fortunate because in Goshen and Elkhart, the train has arrived,” and said Drew’s companies have “been a significant asset to our community.”
Lippert said, “our customers are here, our facilities are here, our employees are here and now our corporate headquarters are here.”