JACKSON CENTER – With the recreational vehicle market riding a post-pandemic boom and customer orders for new travel trailers and motorhomes stretching well into 2022, local RV manufacturer Airstream is experiencing unprecedented growth.
Over the course of 2021, Airstream has seen continued record sales year over year. After six weeks of downtime in the Spring of 2020 due to stay-at-home orders, Airstream returned to staggering demand driven by customers seeking safe, socially-distanced forms of travel. That demand hasn’t slowed down, and Airstream’s national dealer network is currently experiencing historically low inventory – just 15 percent of what would be in stock in a normal year. Today, over 90 percent of the products shipped out of Airstream’s Shelby County headquarters already have a customer’s name on it.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Bob Wheeler, Airstream president and CEO. “People have turned to us because we offer this incredible way to travel – we figured it might be a temporary bump, but it’s turned into a swell. And with that growth come a few growing pains.”
The historic demand, coupled with the company’s longstanding dedication to manufacturing the highest quality RVs, has resulted in a subsequent staffing shortage which has hampered production schedules. Determined to grow responsibly and maintain the exceptional level of quality demanded by its customers, Airstream is seeking talented production associates to join this growing team.
“Certainly, the well-publicized supply chain woes are part of the greater picture,” said Wheeler. “But we’re building hand-made products that require a high level of craftsmanship. If we’re going to stay on top of orders and maintain the quality we expect, we need more hands on deck.”
Built without automated assembly lines or the aid of precision robotics such as what’s found in many other area manufacturing facilities, the handmade nature of Airstream’s products makes the company one of the most exciting local work opportunities. Across their sprawling Jackson Center campus – including a new, state-of-the-art 750,000-square-foot travel trailer production facility – Airstream associates are engaged in a fast-paced manufacturing environment. Every day offers new challenges and new rewards, as associates gain knowledge across the entirety of the production process and become valuable members of the team.
“Something that really sets us apart here is the potential for our associates to grow, shift, and advance into positions with more responsibility,” said Mark Seery, Airstream vice president of Operations. “There’s no playbook for how to teach these skills, and the associates who show great initiative and dedication are acknowledged with advancement.”
Likewise, Seery said Airstream associates have a direct connection to their management teams – all the way to the executive leadership. They contribute to the company’s overall yearly goals, and their feedback is an essential part of the company’s dedication to continuous improvement.
Most importantly, associates on Airstream’s production line are the company’s most important quality assurance checks. The hand-made production process hasn’t changed much since the company first started manufacturing in the 1930s. From the curtains, furniture, and cabinetry to the gas lines, plumbing, electrical systems, and appliances, Airstream travel trailers and touring coaches are highly complex – and demand an equally high level of quality.
“Our production associates are integral to maintaining that quality across the entire production line,” said Seery. “Their dedication – their talent and willingness to share their knowledge and learn new skills – that’s the attention to detail that makes the difference.”
More than simply a job, Airstream is offering new candidates the opportunity to join an American heritage brand and help build dreams come true. Airstream is a company where you can learn, grow, and develop your career, knowing that your contributions, passion, and drive for success are highly valued.
“Our associates are top of mind always,” said Wheeler. “With the opening of our new facility, we enhanced the benefits enjoyed by all associates, including an onsite health clinic at no cost to employees and a state-of-the-art cafeteria with convenient, healthy and low-cost options.”
Interested candidates who want a job in a growing industry filled with potential are encouraged to apply now at www.airstream.com/apply.