Elkhart, Indiana-based manufacturers and suppliers are searching areas further from the home of RV manufacturing to find skilled workers.
Heartland RV and Cruiser RV crossed the northern border into Michigan to secure an expansion plan. The RV manufacturers will build two campuses in Sturgis, Michigan.
The facilities are expected to support 450 jobs. Groundbreaking is expected later in August with plans for the facilities to be up and running in late fall 2022.
“From all of us at Cruiser and Heartland RV, we would like to thank the state of Michigan, city of Sturgis and each organization that assisted our company with the process for expanding business operations in Michigan. Your partnership is greatly appreciated,” said Ryan Juday, president of Cruiser RV and Heartland RV. “Having access to a strong pool of talent was one of the primary reasons we chose Michigan for these expansions. This is an exciting time and we are proud to invest in a state and region that has been supportive in our mission to expand while providing excellent employment opportunities to the community.”
Although the products built in Sturgis have not yet been announced, facilities will be state of the art and manufacturing RVs from each brand.
Michigan state authorities will provide more than $1.7 million in grants to help facilitate the project.
The two projects are expected to generate a total private investment of $35.9 million, Michigan officials said. The investment and job additions each is supported by a $700,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The Heartland RV expansion is supported by a $307,277 state Transportation Economic Development Fund grant to help fund infrastructure improvements associated with the project.
“With the help of companies like Cruiser RV and Heartland RV, we can build back our state’s economy stronger than ever,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.
Companies such as Patrick Industries and Lippert recently announced plans to open a LaPorte, Indiana facility, about an hour west of Elkhart. Sturgis is a little less than an hour northeast of Elkhart.
Sturgis is offering property tax abatements in support of the projects, and Southwest Michigan First assisted the companies in identifying sites for the projects. The Michigan Strategic Fund also authorized a State Education Tax Abatement to the Heartland project to be used in conjunction with the local abatement.
The Michigan Department of Transportation TEDF grant will help support work performed by the city of Sturgis – which is contributing $165,458 in funding – including rebuilding roads in the area and reworking drainage.
“This grant demonstrates the collaborative efforts around economic development and infrastructure we are taking here in the state and move us toward our goals of creating good jobs for Michigan workers while ensuring safe roads for Michigan drivers,” said Paul Ajegba, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation.
“We look forward to working with Cruiser and Heartland as these projects are developed and on into the future as new corporate citizens,” Sturgis City Manager Michael Hughes said.