ELKHART, Ind. – In a recent survey, The Wall Street Journal ranked Elkhart, Indiana as the number one emerging market for housing.
Put simply, people want to move to Elkhart because of the many opportunities that await in the northern Indiana city, so says Mayor Rod Roberson.
Elkhart has long been known for its manufacturing prowess, especially in building RVs.
“We do contribute to the manufacturing equation in the state, and we’ve done well with it, but it’s important to note that amenities drive that,” Roberson said on Inside Indiana Business. “The things that we’re doing for quality of place, quality of life is starting to really reap benefit to bringing companies and here and also individuals to live here.”
Roberson said the fact that Elkhart has done so well with its presence on the RV and OEM stage, the city has been forced to diversify with other companies wanting to set up shop there.
He said they plan to make sure RVs and OEMs stay strong in Elkhart.
“But, what has occurred is because of that relationship (with Elkhart), the (OEM) suppliers have gained momentum, so that they are really providing diversification opportunities for many of their industries,” Roberson said.
One of those industries is medical supply companies. Roberson said medical supplies and RVs actually use a lot of the same materials to make the items and equipment they need. This means that parts makers for RVs are expanding their profile and thus attracting more people to come to Elkhart and work there.
Then there is Amazon.
“We’ve seen Amazon, which is going to build one of their largest distribution centers east of the Mississippi right here in Elkhart,” said Roberson. “Logistics is basically a hidden gem or Elkhart.”
With that Roberson said the addition of Amazon has attracted other logistics companies as well to ask for warehouse space in Elkhart.