The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Fri Apr 7, 2017
In the RV industry, people work in the manufacturing, distributing, marketing and customer service sectors, but they live in communities.
They have co-workers, bosses, customers, partners and employees, but they also have family, friends, loved ones and dependents.
They have deadlines, projects, meetings, phone calls and stress-filled workdays, but they also have mouths to feed, children to pick up, the hungry and cold to feed and clothe and a community to take care of.
While they work sometimes upward of 60 hours per week on their products, it’s important to many to not forget where they come from, the communities in which they work and the staggering number of people who are in situations much less fortunate them themselves.
Progress Mfg., located in Provo, Utah, is one company that makes it part of its mission statement to better the lives of those in the community.
“We want to provide the best towing products out there,” Progress Mfg. Marketing Director Lori Gilson says. “But we want to help people in other ways as well. Our mission statement is to be a company that empowers us to provide for our families, serve the Lord and leave a legacy of good.”
In 2016, Progress completed 12 service projects in the community. This year, the company has planned four larger service projects to do throughout the year.
Included among the 2016 service projects was one where company personnel put together more than 60 backpack kits and gave them to children in local elementary schools that were considered to have food insecurity, meaning they didn’t know where their next meal would come from, Gilson says.
The packs were meant to provide eight straight meals to the kids over a weekend, from dinner on a Friday night through breakfast on a Monday morning.
“Over the course of 10 years, we have done over 60 major service projects and donated over 4,500 paid hours to serve the community,” Gilson says.
The service has even reached members of the company’s own team.
In 2010, Gilson’s own infant son contracted infant botulism and she and her family spent nights in the hospital with their son. During that hard time, her own company extended the company’s service project to her and her family.
“We tied a bunch of blankets for patients in the children’s hospital for five months,” she says. “On a day-to-day basis, we didn’t know if he would live. I was given a blanket made by a volunteer and received it on a very hard day. To get a blanket made me feel loved and acknowledged. He (her son) is seven years old today and he still sleeps with that blanket.
“A blanket doesn’t seem that big of a deal, but it’s a huge deal to those it impacts. It’s important for us to give back to the community.”
Even though the work that RV industry employees do every day is important to the company’s future and contributes to an industry at the top of a huge market upswing, it is also important for employees and companies to give back to the community and keep perspective of what is important in life, Gilson says.
“We use the term ‘Leave a legacy of good’ here at Progress every month,” Gilson says. “It’s important to do something good for our community.”