Nightly News   |  May 23, 2013

Hard-hit region revitalized by RV sales

RV sales have been especially important to Elkhart County, Indiana, where nearly half of the RVs on the road are made. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

up. vo: means a lot of people hitting the road and it's likely you'll see a lot more rvs out there. they are making a big come back after a big slump during the recession and that's good news for the people in indiana where many of them are made.

>> reporter: for paul and his family going on vacation means loading up their 30-foot rv and heading out on the open road .

>> it does allow you to vacation in the style that you want at a price you can afford.

>> reporter: more and more people agree. at dealerships like this one outside of los angeles business is booming. a welcome change from just a few years ago.

>> it's something i've been thinking about for four or five years and finally decided now perhaps might be the time.

>> reporter: from 2006 to 2009 rv sales plunged 58% as the recession deepened and banks stopped lending. as the economy bounces back so have sales. shooting up 72%. good news for keystone rv in elkhart, indiana. the county's unemployment rate was once the highest in the nation above 20% four years ago now it's more than half that. in 2009 when the recession was at its worst keystone cutback to 1900 employees. now just four years later they employ 3,200 people, a record for the company and they are still hiring. more jobs at higher wages.

>> i think you'll see that throughout the county. the labor pool is getting tighter.

>> reporter: matthew miller is a recent hire. as a high school student he saw his father get laid off from an rv plant. now he's a husband and father himself.

>> very comforting knowing i can work in a place like this, not necessarily be worried about my job and i know can provide for my family.

>> reporter: as accelerating rv sales set a once struggling midwestern county on the road to recovery .