U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt was joined earlier this week by U.S. Senator Todd Young and U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) as they highlighted the importance of outdoor recreation and the resurgence of the American economy during a visit to East to West RV.
Following a tour of the facility’s manufacturing operations, Forest River, Inc. and East to West RV signed President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers, committing to invest in their workforce and expand job opportunities in Indiana.
Since 2018, more than 440 companies have signed the Pledge to America’s Workers, committing to support more than 16.3 million job and training-related opportunities for American workers. More Americans are getting back to work as the economy continues to rebound and reopen. Over the past three months, 9.3 million jobs have been added.
“The Trump Administration is working to enhance the visitor experience on our public lands – places like the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge – so more Hoosiers can enjoy recreating in the great outdoors,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “Many recreational visitors utilize RVs to experience national parks, refuges and campgrounds throughout the country. I applaud these business leaders’ commitment to support the Pledge to America’s Workers and for providing great job opportunities in Elkhart, the RV Capital of the World.”
“The Great American Outdoors Act will support tens of thousands of jobs in the state of Indiana,” said Senator Young. “Aside from National Parks themselves, no other industry will benefit as much from the GAOA as the RV industry. When parks are well-kept, when facilities are maintained and improved, and when conservation is prioritized, people naturally will want to visit these national treasures, many of which are right here in Indiana.”
“Manufacturers in Elkhart – the RV Capital of the World – know the importance of investing in the current and future American workforce,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “Their commitment to building opportunities and creating jobs for hardworking Hoosiers will be key to our economic recovery. As we continue to rebuild our nation’s economy, the Great American Outdoors Act will improve access to our public lands and give Indiana’s outdoor recreation industry an added boost. I’m grateful for the leadership of President Trump and Secretary Bernhardt in protecting our national parks, defending the American worker and supporting Hoosier manufacturing.”
“Our country’s iconic national parks are one of the most favored destinations for RVers. We are grateful to the leadership of Secretary Bernhardt in ensuring these public lands receive the funding they deserve,” said RV Industry Association Vice President of Government Affairs Jay Landers. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Secretary and his team as they implement the Great American Outdoors Act to identify projects that will make the biggest impact to improve the access, safety, and enjoyment of RVers for generations to come.”
“Our Customers love our national parks and experiencing nature just as much as I do,” said CEO of Forest River, Inc. Peter J. Liegl. “The Great American Outdoors act will ensure those great lands we cherish will be preserved for our current and future RVers.”
“East to West RV is excited to sign President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers as we are committed to hiring more great employees and helping them grow with our company,” said Lisa Rees Co-General Manager of East to West RV.
At East to West RV, Secretary Bernhardt discussed Interior’s role in facilitating outdoor recreation across the country, managing approximately 500 million acres of land and how RVs help the public visit America’s national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.
More than 80 percent of RVs sold in the U.S. are manufactured in Indiana with demand increasing throughout the U.S. amid COVID-19. In Elkhart County, the RV Industry has an annual economic impact of $14.5 billion and supports nearly 35,000 jobs, 178 businesses and pays $2.5 billion in wages.
Following the tour and signing at East to West RV, Secretary Bernhardt traveled to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to meet with National Park Service employees and inspect facilities that have deferred maintenance needs.
The Great American Outdoors Act, recently signed by President Trump, provides $1.9 billion a year for the next five years to address deferred maintenance needs at national parks, refuges, American Indian schools and other public lands throughout the country.
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