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 .
Mon May 14, 2018
Author: Jessica Machetta
Jeff Couch's RV Nation in Hamilton, Ohio, is moving to a location in Trenton, about five miles away, so that it can expand and increase efficiency.
Chief Financial Officer Mike Dalton says construction should be complete in August and the new store will be ready to open in September or October. Dalton says they have about 400 units on their current lot and plan to increase that to 600 at the Trenton location.
"The reason for the move is two-fold," he says. "We're growing and expanding and out of physical space at our current location. We have inventory stored at three locations and it's very inefficient where we're at. So the move will give us plenty of space for expansion and everything will be all under one roof. The new location will allow us to expand sales pretty considerably, so it's going to be a great move for us."
Jeff Couch's RV Nation moves about 2,000 units a year, he says.
"We've had the pleasure be experiencing growth," Dalton says, "We're seeing a double digit increase year after year, so we've seen a pretty consistent growth pattern."
Jeff Couch's RV Nation carries Forest River and Heartland products, and like the rest of industry, the busy season is in full swing. The dealership carries towables, campers, travel trailers and fifth wheels, as well as providing service and parts.
"Just in the last few weeks, the weather here in Ohio has finally turned to spring so busy season is in full effect now," he says.
The dealership currently employs about 40 people but is looking to hire more service technicians to staff its new location at Trenton Industrial Park at 5555 Kennel Road, adding 24 positions in all. The dealership is currently at 2122 Hamilton Eaton Road.
Instead of relying on the traditional retail sales model, Jeff Couch’s RV Nation takes more of an Internet-distributor approach with revenues driven by personnel developing qualified leads from website visits that are then followed up on by sales people, Dalton told the Journal News.
Dalton talked about hiring challenges with the newspaper.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge facing the company and others in the industry and how is the company uniquely positioned to address that challenge?
A: “Finding good, dependable employees is definitely a challenge in a strong economy with very low unemployment. We offer competitive wages, benefits and work schedules but are also looking for new avenues to help recruit candidates including Butler County Workforce Board and OhioMeansJobs.”
Q: What’s the most prevalent roadblock you encounter when it comes to hiring and what can jobseekers do to remedy that situation?
A: “Currently our biggest issue is actually finding qualified candidates willing and able to work. We can train employees for the skillsets they need but showing up on time and ready to work is a trait we often struggle to find.”
Q: What’s the vision for the company’s growth, both jobs and otherwise, for the next five years?
A: “The RV industry has experienced double digit growth in unit sales over the past 5-plus years and we expect that to continue. The solid growth in our industry coupled with a strong economy should help us continue the pattern of growth that has led us to be the largest dealer in the Midwest. That continued growth will create new job opportunities for Butler County for the foreseeable future.”
Q: Some job seekers are concerned about the limits of advancement within a company. To what degree can your employees advance from entry-level roles to be promoted to greater positions within the company?
A: “We have always preferred to hire/promote from within our organization. Most of our management and supervisory staff here at the dealership have all come from entry level positions and worked their way up through the company. We actively seek individuals that not only want a job but want a career as well.”