Case for ElkharT Industrial Diversification
The City of Elkhart, as it has been throughout history, is a manufacturing hub, contributing significantly to the regional and state economies. Elkhart County is know as the “RV Capital of the World,” and employment in Elkhart is highly concentrated within RV Manufacturing and its supplier industries. While these Base Industries are currently providing a strong backbone to Elkhart’s economy, over-reliance on manufacturing - especially when concentrated in a handful of industry groups that produce discretionary goods - has led to severe economic and job distress from recessions, factory closings, technological disruptions, and workforce shortages. Current levels of economic prosperity provide opportunities to prepare for the future. Economic diversification, programs to address workforce and quality of life issues, and investment in real estate and infrastructure are needed to ensure Elkhart’s resiliency.