Barletta Boat Company, a manufacturer of high-quality pontoon boats, announced plans to expand its operations in Elkhart County and nearly double its Indiana workforce, creating up to 250 new jobs over the next few years.
"With homegrown Hoosier companies like Barletta at the helm, Indiana will continue driving its economy forward, positioning our state for long-term economic stabilization and growth,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger. "We're proud that Barletta continues to call Indiana home, and grateful for the company’s commitment to growing its footprint and nearly doubling its workforce in Elkhart County.”
The company, which offers a full line of pontoon boats, will invest $7 million to construct and equip a state-of-the-art production and operations facility on its 37-acre campus in Bristol, adjacent to the company's 110,000-square-foot production facility at 51687 County Road 133. The new, 144,600-square-foot building will allow the company to ramp up its manufacturing capacity to meet increased demand across North America. Barletta expects to break ground on its new facility next month, with plans to be fully operational by January 2021, marking the first phase of a multi-tiered expansion plan that will allow Barletta to significantly grow in the coming years. New office space as well as additional storage capacity are also part of the company's initial phase.
Due to increased retail demand, Barletta has achieved steady production growth at its Bristol facility, which is expected to continue growing as the state's economy safely reopens. The company, which employs approximately 200 associates in Indiana, plans to begin hiring for production positions over the next several months. Interested applicants may apply online.
“Elkhart County is the RV and pontoon boating capital of the world,” said Bill Fenech, president and co-founder of Barletta Boat Company. “Obviously, it made sense to continue growing our business in the heart of the recreational industry. Local and state officials have been extremely supportive of our company and the culture we are building here. This area is home to some of the hardest working, talented, and proudest boat builders in the country. We have been blessed with a team that shares our vision of being the best marine manufacturer in the U.S.”
In 2017, Fenech, who also co-founded Keystone RV in 1996 and Grand Design RV in 2012, combined his passion for boating and experience in the RV industry by founding Barletta. The company, which delivers a unique customer focused, dealer-centric approach, produces high-quality, innovative pontoon boats, which includes its L, E, C, Corsa and Slide-Toon classes. Barletta serves more than 140 of the top dealers around the U.S. and Canada.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Barletta Boat Company up to $2 million in conditional tax credits and $50,000 in conditional training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The IEDC also offered up to $200,000 in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment (HBI) tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. Elkhart County will consider additional incentives in support of the company's expansion.