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RV supplier plans expansion in northern Indiana

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A recreational vehicle parts supplier plans to expand its operations in northern Indiana and potentially add more than 300 workers in the coming months.

Drew Industries Inc. announced Tuesday that two of its subsidiaries would increase manufacturing in Goshen and Middlebury. The subsidiaries Lippert Components Manufacturing and Kinro Manufacturing now have about 2,800 workers at factories in northern Indiana.

Lippert Components and Kinro CEO Jason Lippert says state and local officials have shown a strong commitment to the RV industry as it rebounds from the recession that caused massive layoffs from northern Indiana factories.

Lippert plans to invest about $650,000 in new machinery and equipment as part of the expansion. Kinro plans to spend about $3.5 million for the lease of a facility, and for the purchase of machinery and equipment for the expanded production line.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Lippert up to $1.55 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $165,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans. Elkhart County and Goshen will consider additional property-tax abatements.

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, American RV production increased 46 percent in 2010, with more than 80 percent of U.S.-made RVs being built in Indiana.

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