Airstream will break ground on a new 750,000 square-foot facility. The enhanced Jackson Center expanded facility will support improved product quality, create jobs, enable increased production, and improve experiences for Airstream associates, customers and visitors.
The $40 million project, which will also be completely powered by renewable energy credits, is set to break ground in late spring 2018 with completion expected in 2019.
“We embrace our rich history even as we move into the future,” said Bob Wheeler, Airstream president and CEO. “This new facility will give us the room to build and innovate quality products, all while maintaining the hand-made craftsmanship that makes Airstream an American icon.”
The plant expansion will consolidate multiple production spaces into one facility, bringing the assembly of the company’s travel trailers under one roof. The current 255,000 square-foot travel trailer plant will be converted for use building Airstream’s motorized touring coaches, freeing up production space to support a growing line of products that appeal to a broad spectrum of RV enthusiasts.
“The RV industry is enjoying a golden age as a new generation of Americans discover the joys of outdoor adventure with all the comforts of home,” said Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries. “The expanded Airstream facility will provide top quality products to these new devotees for years to come.”
As a result of the expanded capacity, Airstream expects to hire additional associates, bringing total employment in Jackson Center to around 1,200 people. A state-of-the-art training center in the new factory will provide Airstream and dealer associates with a hands-on shop floor environment for earning certifications, learning new skills, and mastering new production and maintenance techniques.
“The workforce here in Shelby County is second to none,” said Wheeler. “We couldn’t be happier reaffirming our 65-plus year commitment to Jackson Center. In addition, the State of Ohio is a great place to do business and their continued commitment to Airstream made this an easy decision.”
Airstream’s expansion will provide another boost to the Dayton economy, which saw approximately $1 billion in capital investment last year. Local employers like Airstream are responsible for some 80 percent of the region’s recent economic growth, and they’ve helped raise the median wage in Shelby County to above $54,000 a year.
A new Heritage Center will enhance those visits with exhibits illustrating the company’s 87-years of inspiring adventure and help drive regional tourism in nearby communities. Plans call for the display of numerous classic and historic Airstream products, including artifacts from the relationship between Airstream and NASA’s space program.