Elkhart boat builder adding jobs


Boat builders are expanding and hiring because of increased demand.

Nautic Global Group in Elkhart is stepping up its production.

It's full speed ahead for the different types of boats made by the company.

The recent uptick in boat production at Nautic and other local boat makers greatly parallels the RV industry coming back from the recession.

"The boating industry and the RV industry took a huge drive. The numbers you've seen pre-2009 were probably cut in half, if not even more, so it has taken the past two or three years for us to come out of this," said company Marketing Director Jeff Roth.

First-time and long-time boat owners are stepping up to buy.

"Most of the folks in the Marine industry are experiencing these increases in retail registration, so because of that, we need to keep up with consumer demand," added Roth.

It's a demand evident by the hundreds of completed boats ready for shipment, demand to be met with more employees.

Nautic Global Group says it plans to hire a total of 70 workers very soon. It has openings at all three of its facilities, two of which are in Syracuse and the other at the company's headquarters in Elkhart.

They are looking for skill sets in several areas, "including fiberglass, lamination, tig welders, assemblers, upholsterers, industrial sewers," Roth described.

He sees the employment picture improving for the future.

"I think slow growth is what we will be seeing the next several years. I think all of us in the Marine industry probably learned some lessons. With the number of boats we build and the inventory we put out in the field, we are now a little more controlled."

Nonetheless, it's good news for the employment picture.

Job interviews will be held Tuesday at the Hurricane 2 plant at 4310 Middlebury Street in Elkhart. They will take place between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.