Airstream Plans $40 Million Plant in Jackson Center, Ohio
Area Development News Desk.
Airstream, Inc., manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” travel trailer and subsidiary of Thor Industries, is poised to break ground on a $40 million, 750,000 square foot facility, 56 miles north of Dayton, in Jackson Center, Ohio.
According to company officials, the project is the most significant plant expansion in company history. The enhanced Jackson Center facility will support improved product quality, create jobs, enable increased production, and improve experiences for Airstream associates, customers and visitors.
The project is set to break ground in late spring 2018 with completion expected in 2019. This expansion is the latest example of Airstream’s long-standing commitment to continuous innovation, quality control, and its Made in America philosophy, company officials said.
“We embrace our rich history even as we move into the future,” said Airstream President & CEO Bob Wheeler. “This new facility will give us the room to build and innovate quality products, all while maintaining the handmade craftsmanship that makes Airstream an American icon.”
The plant expansion will consolidate multiple production spaces into one facility, bringing the assembly of the company’s travel trailers under one roof.
The current 255,000 square-foot travel trailer plant will be converted for use building Airstream’s motorized touring coaches, freeing up production space to support a growing line of products that appeal to a broad spectrum of RV enthusiasts.
“The RV industry is enjoying a golden age as a new generation of Americans discover the joys of outdoor adventure with all the comforts of home,” said Bob Martin, President & CEO of Airstream parent company Thor Industries. “The expanded Airstream facility will provide top quality products to these new devotees for years to come.”
As a result of the expanded capacity, Airstream expects to hire additional associates, bringing total employment in Jackson Center to around 1,200 people.
A state-of-the-art training center in the new factory will provide Airstream and dealer associates with a hands-on shop floor environment for earning certifications, learning new skills, and mastering new production and maintenance techniques. All of this is designed to improve the experience of Airstream customers.
“The workforce here in Shelby County is second to none,” said Wheeler. “We couldn’t be happier reaffirming our 65-plus year commitment to Jackson Center. In addition, the State of Ohio is a great place to do business and their continued commitment to Airstream made this an easy decision.”
Airstream’s expansion will provide another boost to the Dayton economy, which saw approximately $1 billion in capital investment last year.
“This expansion by Airstream’s parent company, Thor Industries, will bring 280 new jobs to the Jackson Center campus, where Airstream will continue to produce recreational vehicles that loyal customers have enjoyed for nearly a century,” said Kristi Tanner, Senior Managing Director for Automotive of JobsOhio. “Along with the Dayton Development Coalition and our local partners, we are excited that Ohio will continue to play an essential role in Airstream’s growth worldwide.”
“This announcement by Airstream is still more proof that Shelby County is a manufacturing stronghold in Ohio,” said Mike Dodds, Executive Director of the Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership. “Growth-oriented companies like Airstream are one reason we have the highest percentage of manufacturing jobs per capita in the state.”
Jeff Raible of the Sidney-Shelby Chamber of Commerce said the expansion “combines the excitement of a new opportunity with the proud heritage of a longtime member of our business community.”
“In every way possible, the resources of the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber are committed to helping Airstream continue its growth and prosperity,” Raible said.
The USDA is seeking new technology and/or creative product ideas from grass roots innovators! Got a great idea? The USDA may be interested in funding the research and development of your concept! Ohio State Extension is partnering with the USDA to promote the accessibility and availability of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. OSU Extension will be offering two (2) workshops, one in Northeast Ohio (Lorain County Community College on June 19) and one in Southwest Ohio (OSU Lima Campus) to orient interested innovators, researchers, and practitioners to this grant opportunity and the grant application process. Registration is open!read more
The Ohio Economic Development Association’s annual excellence awards program recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations in Ohio in the areas of economic and workforce development. Submit your nominations today and have excellence in your community recognized state-wide!
A panel of judges will assess the nominations, determine finalists, and select a winner for each of the categories noted below. Award winners will be announced at a ceremony during the OEDA Annual Summit to be held October 16-18 at The Renaissance Columbus Downtown. All award finalists and winners will be notified prior to the Annual Summit so as to make appropriate arrangements.read more
Register Today for the Remaining 2018 Ohio Economic Development Institute Courses
OEDI is presented in partnership the Ohio Economic Development Association, JobsOhio, and the Ohio University Voinovich School.
Next Up for OEDI’s courses: Finance & Incentives July 19-20 and Business Retention & Expansion September 20- 21! Be sure to register early for these in-demand programs, as space is limited!read more