Elkhart’s Great Lakes Forest Products new laminated wood panels business may create up to 100 new jobs • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Great Lakes Forest Products

Elkhart’s Great Lakes Forest Products new laminated wood panels business may create up to 100 new jobs

Great Lakes Forest Products
Great Lakes Forest Products Inc. was launched in 1989 by Mark and Jennifer Smith in Granger as an office wholesale lumber company. (Photo provided by Great Lakes Forest Products)

Great Lakes Forest Products, an Elkhart-based lumber manufacturing business, recently announced it will launch a new sister company to produce laminated wood panels.

The new company, Great Lakes Lamination, plans to create up to 100 new jobs in Bristol during the next few years, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

“We are very excited to start Great Lakes Lamination and are thankful we have the support from the community,” said Mark Smith, co-owner of Great Lakes Forest Products. “It is our plan to exceed our customers' expectations in both quality and service, and we believe we have the right team to do so.”

Great Lakes Lamination will invest $7 million to establish operations in Bristol, purchasing and equipping a 115,000-square-foot facility at 1103 S. Maple St. The company, which plans to start new production this summer, will primarily serve the RV industry, which is heavily concentrated in North Central Indiana.

Indiana produces about 80 percent of the world’s RVs, with industry shipments topping more than 483,000 models in 2018. The RV Industry Association expects 2019 to be the third-highest year on record for total RV shipments.

Great Lakes Lamination expects to hire between 50 and 100 new employees by the end of 2022, according to the state. The company anticipates ramping up recruiting efforts in the second quarter of 2019 to hire new production positions. 

The IEDC is offering Great Lakes Lamination up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company's plans to create up to 100 new jobs by the end of 2022. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives.

The town of Bristol approved additional incentives based on the company’s plans to create up to 53 new jobs by 2021, the state said. 


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