TWIN FALLS — Jayco Inc. has announced an expansion that will bring another 360 jobs to Twin Falls.
The travel trailer manufacturer will build a 160,000 square-foot manufacturing and warehouse building at its existing site in Twin Falls, Urban Renewal Agency Director Nathan Murray said.
Jayco opened its Twin Falls operations more than a decade ago in order to better serve West coast and Canadian markets.
“This is a pretty significant expansion for them,” Murray said.
Unemployment has been at record lows around the Magic Valley over the past year, making it challenging for employers to attract workers. Jayco had considered expansion in other locations, but Murray believes the decision to expand in Twin Falls is a testament to “their faith in Twin Falls to rally around them.”
The new jobs, he said will be added over the next 18 months to two years.
The Idaho Department of Commerce’s Economic Advisory Council approved the project for tax reimbursement incentives in August. Jayco can begin receiving those reimbursements one it has created at least 50 jobs, Idaho Commerce spokeswoman Megan Hill said. The state reimburses the company 24 percent of its income, payroll and sales taxes.
The estimated incentive value of that incentive is $4.9 million over 12 years.
The average yearly wage for the new jobs will be $43,300. The expansion is projected to bring direct state revenue of $20.4 million.
“Our executive team considered several western states when searching for the right fit for expansion,” Matt Thompson, Jayco COO, said in a statement. “We concluded that capitalizing on the benefits offered in Twin Falls out-weighed benefits outside the state of Idaho.”
He commended the work of Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Idaho Commerce and Twin Falls County Commissioner Don Hall in supporting what the company wanted to accomplish.
“There is nothing more heartening than when the economic conditions are right for an existing Idaho company to deepen its roots and create more great opportunities for Idahoans,” Otter said in a statement. “The expansion of Jayco further confirms Idaho’s leadership in growing jobs and incomes in America.”
Twin Falls County Commissioners are considering offering a tax abatement as an incentive package to Jayco, Hall said. If it happens, it will have been the first time Twin Falls County has offered an incentive package for economic development.
“It’s a win,” he said. “I’ve had this theory that a community is either growing or dying. You can’t stay static in this environment.”
The URA and city of Twin Falls have agreed to cover the company’s building permit fees.
Bish’s RV, the only Jayco dealer in the Magic Valley, sells all lines that the company manufacturers. Its Jay Flight SLX travel trailers, manufactured in Twin Falls, are the most popular item the dealership sells, company spokeswoman Megan Walker said. And the close proximity to Jayco helps cut the cost of freight.
“It’s great that they’re expanding,” Walker said. “It means that Jayco is doing good and the RV business is doing good.”
Murray said Jayco will expand production by bringing in a product line currently not in Twin Falls.
Local and national Jayco offices could not be reached for comment.
Jayco, based out of Middlebury, Ind., is a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc. The company said in a statement that it plans to begin and fast-track the expansion project immediately.