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Economic development grants supporting 450 new jobs coming to Sturgis through 2 companies

Posted at 9:34 AM, Jul 26, 2021

STURGIS, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Monday economic development grants for RV manufacturers Cruiser RV and Heartland Recreational Vehicles in support of two new manufacturing campuses in Sturgis.

The projects are expected to support 450 new jobs in St. Joseph County, according to a news release.

“Michigan’s business climate and highly skilled manufacturing workforce are creating an environment where businesses like Heartland RV and Cruiser RV can thrive and grow, creating good jobs in St. Joseph County,” Whitmer said. “This is great news for workers, their families and our economy as we continue our economic jumpstart and put Michigan back to work. With the help of companies like Cruiser RV and Heartland RV, we can build back our state’s economy stronger than ever.”

The two projects are expected to generate a total private investment of $35.9 million and create a total of 450 high-wage jobs, each resulting in a $700,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

The Heartland RV expansion is also being supported by a $307,277 state Transportation Economic Development Fund grant to help fund infrastructure improvements associated with the project.

Both companies chose Michigan for the projects over competing sites in Indiana, which state officials say was primarily because of the availability of skilled workers in the area.

Heartland Recreational Vehicles manufactures travel trailers, toy haulers and fifth wheel recreational vehicles based in Elkhart, Indiana.

Cruiser RV – a subsidiary of Heartland RV since 2015 – manufactures a variety of lightweight towable recreational vehicles, including travel trailers, toy haulers and fifth wheel units, based in Howe, Indiana.

Both companies sell to authorized dealer networks throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Sturgis is offering property tax abatements in support of the projects, and Southwest Michigan First helped the companies identify sites for the projects.

The Michigan Strategic Fund also authorized a State Education Tax Abatement to the Heartland Project to be used in conjunction with the local abatement.

The Michigan Department of Transportation grant will help support work performed by Sturgis – which is contributing more than $165,000 in funding – including rebuilding roads in the area and reworking drainage.

“The grant demonstrates the collaborative efforts around economic development and infrastructure we are taking here in the state and move us toward our goals of creating good jobs for Michigan workers while ensuring safe roads for Michigan drivers,” said Paul Ajegba, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation. “I am pleased that we were able to collaborate with Heartland RV and the city of Sturgis to secure the growth of the company and improve the road network in this area.”