President and CEO of LCI Industries Jason Lippert appeared on Newsy Morning Rush with Hosts Alex Livingston and Rob Nelson on September 2. Livingston and Nelson asked Lippert about the Elkhart unemployment rate, employee retention, inflation and rising interest rates.
Elkhart, Indiana has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, 1.8% vs. the 3.6% national rate, Nelson said, curious how Lippert attracts and retains employees.
“We are working hot and heavy on culture. A lot of companies talk about culture. My personal feeling is… you need to have a culture department; you need to have people who are making the culture meaningful and making it attractive and fun… That is one way we work to attract team members,” Lippert said. “It is not about the unemployment rate in determining how we get jobs, there are hundreds of thousands of people in our area and they just are not happy due to bad leadership or bad culture.”
Lippert discussed labor challenges amid the recent RV boom. Because the RV industry is entrepreneurial and Elkhart is home to other large companies like Amazon, finding sufficient labor is always a challenge, but Lippert has found ways to “push through,” he said.
He also said the outdoor lifestyle is here to stay and inflation does not appear to be affecting RVers’ vacation choices.
“If people must give up things in their personal life because of inflation, they are generally not going to give up their vacations. RV vacations are pretty affordable compared to some of the inflation we’ve seen with airlines and hotels recently,” he said.
Rising interest rates matter, Lippert said, but the impact of increased rates on the average RV loan is minimal.
Click here to see the interview.