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Airstream Expansion To Bring New Jobs To Jackson Center

 27 foot 1987 Airstream Sovereign built at the Jackson Center Ohio Airstream factory.
Tdenton/Wikimedia Commons
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The trailer company Airstream has announced a major expansion at its facility in Jackson Center, Ohio, 56 miles north of Dayton. The company is investing $5.9 million dollars in the project, and its parent company, Thor Industries, says the millions they’re putting into the expansion will allow them to increase office capacity and production of their famous silver travel-trailers by 70%.

Airstream is Jackson Center’s biggest employer, according to Village Administrator Bruce Metz.

“They’re going to create a hundred and twenty-five new jobs over three years," he says. "Also, it’ll help with the village income tax which helps fund everything in the city. It’s just a win-win for everyone”

It's a win for everyone including Airstream—to seal the deal on the expansion, Metz says the village granted the company a 15-year tax waiver on the new expansion.

“You know they had an opportunity to do this in Indiana," the administrator says.  "We did not want that to happen.”

According to Airstream President Bob Wheeler, the office expansion will happen on a "second floor, mezzanine level designed to promote collaboration and bring workers closer together." Wheeler believes the office expansion and its design will help with worker recruitment. Hiring manufacturing technicians for Airstream's factory have not been an issue but finding marketing specialists and degree-level engineers have been a challenge.

Airstream has been producing trailers in Jackson Center since 1952. That year the company, founded by Wally Byam, had outgrown its facility in Los Angeles, California. According to Airstream’s website,  Byam “traveled east to... Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio before finding a factory for sale in Jackson Center, Ohio.” 

Airstream currently employs around 470 people. Expansion on the existing facility is expected to be completed in May, 2015.

* This story has been updated

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.