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Northwood Investments has broken ground on a new plant going up at its Outdoors RV location on Pierce Road. The facility expansion will also bring jobs to the county. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
Plant expansion expected to be completed by summer 2014
Northwood Investments has announced a new Union County plant in the works.
Northwood, which operates Outdoors RV Manufacturing and Northwood Manufacturing, has broken ground on a new plant at the Outdoors RV location at 62582 Pierce Road.
Ward King, chief operating officer for Outdoors RV and Northwood Manufacturing, said the expansion is a result of increased business.
“Our business is picking up,” he said. “We continue to have more interest in outdoor products.”
The facility expansion will also bring new jobs to the county, King said.
“Probably at a minimum 25 (jobs), but more likely all the way up to 75,” King said.
King said the operations currently employ 194 hourly employees and about 30 office employees.
The expansion comes with a new brand introduction and new database for dealers.
“We’re kind of increasing our footprint in the southern market,” the COO said.
That includes California all the way to Colorado.
The 50,000-square foot expansion includes manufacturing space and offices at the Outdoors RV location south of the existing main plant.
“Our projection is somewhere in June we should be operational, barring any unforeseen weather,” King said.
Job postings are handled through the state’s employment division office in La Grande.
County Commissioner Mark Davidson said he finds the expansion announcement “very encouraging” that along with Boise Cascade’s recent expansion announcement is very positive for Union County.
“(Northwood is) adding a line of fifth-wheel trailers and increasing employment,” said Davidson, who also serves as president of the Union County Economic Development Corporation.
Davidson said he is working on some leads on businesses that will help complement existing RV manufacturing plants in the county as well as working to help the timber economy and diversify the county.
UCEDC Director Dan Stark will soon be traveling to seek businesses that may find a new home in Union County, too, Davidson said.
“We hope the economy continues to strengthen and employment opportunities continue to increase,” he said.
Northwood Manufacturing was founded in 1993 by Ron Nash. Nash purchased the old Fleetwood plant at Highway 82 and Pierce Road in 2009, where he situated Outdoors RV.