TWIN FALLS — Jayco broke ground Thursday on an expansion it hopes will more than double its Twin Falls workforce in the next year.
The new 248,000 square-foot production building that will house two manufacturing lines for the travel trailer manufacturer. The company employs 238 people in Twin Falls, but plans to bring another 300 or more jobs to the community by the end of the year.
The new building will open sometime this summer.
“We do feel really optimistic,” the company’s marketing director, Renee Jones, told the Times-News. “There must be something you are doing right here in Twin Falls. We could have selected from a lot of different communities, and we feel confident in this community.”
Twin Falls Mayor and Chamber of Commerce CEO Shawn Barigar recalled hosting a ribbon cutting for Jayco’s opening in Twin Falls in 2005. It was one of his first events he coordinated with the Chamber.
“I’ve kind of grown with the company here,” he said.
Jayco’s arrival to Idaho 12 years ago played a part in diversifying the economy, Lt. Gov. Brad Little said. The company supports Idaho’s large recreational industry.
Jayco started in 1968 in northern Indiana and sold to Thor Industries in 2016. As it celebrates 50 years, the company plans to continue supporting the community and promoting family values.
“We don’t just build travel trailers and fifth wheels and units that we pull out of here,” Jayco COO Matt Thompson said. “We build dreams. … We truly create generations of family fun.”
The Twin Falls facility produces the company’s Jay Flight brand of travel trailers. The new building will have one manufacturing line dedicated for Jay Flight production, and the other line will be used for what the market demands.
Jayco trailers are shipped out of Twin Falls to dealerships in the western U.S. and Canada. Bish’s RV is the only Jayco dealer in the Magic Valley.
The company has four campuses and is expanding another one in Indiana, Jones said. The new Twin Falls building, however, will be the largest. The company has already begun recruiting for the new jobs.
Jayco will work with Southern Idaho Economic Develop Organization and the College of Southern Idaho to build long-term programs to cultivate talent, Jones said.
“We’d like to have the positions filled within six months from when we complete the facility,” Jones said.
Employees at Jayco all work the same shift, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, Thompson said. Forty percent of the company’s workforce has been with Jayco for five years or more, and 20 percent have been with Jayco for more than a decade.
“Working with the state of Idaho, the city of Twin, it was crucial in our decision to continue to expand and invest in Twin Falls,” Thompson said. “But what made it the easiest decision for us was the family, the Jayco family, we have here.”
The Idaho Department of Commerce’s Economic Advisory Council approved Jayco’s expansion for a tax reimbursement incentive, valued at $4.9 million over 12 years. The company can begin receiving reimbursements once it creates at least 50 jobs. Idaho Commerce spokeswoman Megan Hill previously told the Times-News that Jayco would be reimbursed 24 percent of its income, payroll and sales taxes.
The average yearly wage for the new jobs will be $43,300, and the expansion was projected to bring direct state revenue of $20.4 million.
“You guys in this community have a special place,” Little said, addressing Twin Falls officials. “We never drag you kicking and screaming into prosperity — it’s just the opposite.”