Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

December 9, 2008

More of the same - Jayco closing Entegra plant

WAKARUSA — Monday seemed like any other day here in this town of about 1,600 people.

Brightly colored holiday decorations hung in windows and doorways. Speakers mounted throughout the town center blasted fully orchestrated Christmas carols. Residents gathered at the ShortStop Inn and Cook’s Pizza to get a bite to eat.

For Cathy Doering, however, it was anything but normal. Her husband works for Entegra Coach.

“He went in this morning and found out he’s got ’til Feb. 6,” Doering said. “We’re moving to Texas. That’s what he keeps saying. He just knew something was gonna happen.”

Monday afternoon, parent company Jayco Corp. announced the closure for the Wakarusa Entegra Coach plant, whose production will move to a pre-existing facility in Middlebury. Jayco purchased the plant along with other assets of Travel Supreme in April of this year.

The closure will affect 134 jobs. At least 100 will be eliminated, according to Jayco Director of Marketing Sid Johnson.

Times are looking tight for Doering and her husband. She has been working part-time at the Dollar General in town for a month, and is only scheduled for 25 hours each week. Her husband isn’t the first person she knows who has been caught by the mass layoffs and plant closures within the RV industry.

“I’ve had a few brothers, a few friends,” she said. “My sister-in-law, too. She worked for Monaco,”

Doering noted that although Dollar General hasn’t seen much change in business, there has been a noticeable drop in customers for restaurants and gas stations.

Wakarusa Party Shop, a liquor store on Ind. 19, has taken a significant hit from local job losses.

“I’ve had this place 20 years and this is definitely the worst,” owner Gary Longfield said. “I hope I never see it this bad again.”

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