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Displaced RV Workers Find Jobs at Utilimaster

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

A Wakarusa, Ind., company has had a huge increase in new hires since the first of the year and the “Help Wanted” sign is out again.

WSBT TV, South Bend, reported that Tony Swartzentruber just got a job at Utilimaster this past June. He’s just one of hundreds of new employees building delivery vans.

“I had been unemployed almost two years from the RV industry,” said Swartzentruber. “It was tough, very tough, but God came through and had all my needs met and a roof over my head.”

“Since the beginning of the first quarter, we’ve added over 300 people to Utilimaster,” said Barry Simes, director of manufacturing. The company, he said, has seen quite a bit of growth and has added a third shift.

Utilimaster is working with Isuzu, and later this year it will begin production on a new vehicle called the Reach. The Reach is more aerodynamic and gets better gas mileage. That means Utilimaster is going to need up to 100 more workers.

“This growth we are going through right now will take us to a little over 1,000 people by the end of the year, which is ahead of where we were at pre-recession time,” said Simes.

Utilimaster is a subsidiary of Spartan Motors Inc., Charlotte, Mich., parent company of Spartan Chassis Inc., a builder of RV chassis. The company says it feels it is a sign of good things to come for Utilimaster, as well as local suppliers and vendors. Employees and team members here feel much the same and feel it bodes well for the future.

“We should all be thankful we are employed here at Utilimaster and I have been here for 12 1/2 years,” said team leader Jennifer Pulliam. “A lot of other places, if you look around, are still laying off and right now we’re going strong.”

“Very excited,” said Swartzentruber. “Looking up and a very positive atmosphere. I love the people I work with and can’t ask for a better place to work.”

For those interested, Utilimaster in Wakarusa is accepting job applications from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the work week.

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