ELKHART, Ind. – Indiana’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Rudy Yakym visited the RV Technical Institute (RVTI) today (March 2) to learn more about the school’s programs and its role in supporting and improving the RV industry in Elkhart County.
“The RV industry is a main economic driver, not just in Elkhart County, but also throughout the region,” Yakym said. “Tens of thousands of jobs are created in the RV industry and its important that we educate the workforce. It has provided several generations of workers opportunities for economic advancement, so what we want to do is make sure we not only advocate locally but also nationally policies that help advance creation of jobs right here in Elklhart County.”
As part of the visit and before the tour, Yakym met with a roundtable of industry leaders from OEMs, distributors and suppliers to discuss issues they deemed important and that might benefit from federal legislation.
Yakym announced that he will be chairing the RV Caucus in Congress.
“That’s something that Jackie (Walorksi, Yaykym’s predecessor who died in an automobile accident in August) was involved in and part of her legacy that I will be continuing,” he said. “It’s important to have bi-partisan support for manufacturing domestically and that’s something I’ll be continuing in support of the RV industry, right here in Elkhart County.”
In the next session of Congress, Yakym said the caucus will likely take up trade issues as they relate to importing and exporting of RV-related products from Elkhart County.
Taxing issues will also be on the table.
“Tax issues that relate to the deductibility of interest and other things for RV dealers around the county that we’ll be working on to help support the production of RVs right here in this county,” he added.
Sharonne Lee, RVTI vice president of education and operations, said today’s visit was a great opportunity to expose Yakym, who is new to representing the district, “to what we have to offer in keeping consumers happy so they buy more units.”
The roundtable, she said, was and opportunity for industry insiders, “to express their concerns to the congressman on anything with regard to legislation. … There are some tax implications that adversely affect their business, so they were able to share those concerns with him so he can take that back to Congress.”