By Jim Skeen | Antelope Valley Press | Wednesday, June 20, 2018

LANCASTER- Lance Camper, a truck camper and travel trailer manufacturer, will receive $1.5 million in state tax credits provided it adds 104 workers and invests $9.5 million in its Lancaster operations.

The California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) will be awarded if Lance Camper grows its workforce by 104 to 540 by 2021. The average annual pay of the workers must be over $30,000. Lance must maintain those milestones for three years.

Also by 2021, the company must invest $9.5 million in its operations.

Taxpayer has certified in its application that absent award of the CCTC, its project may occur in another state,” the agreement between Lance and the state’s economic development office, GO-Biz, said. “Further, Taxpayer has certified that at least 75% of its net increase of full-time employees will work at least 75% of the time in Lancaster. Lancaster was an Area of High Unemployment and/or an Area of High Poverty at the time Taxpayer submitted its application.

Lance Camper was among 29 companies approved for tax credits totalling $57 million by the state’s CCTC committee. The companies committed to creating 3,105 jobs and make $336 million worth of new capital equipment investments across California.

The California Competes Tax Credit was created in 2013 as a way to help businesses grow and stay in California. Since 2014, GO-Biz has allocated $759 million to 957 companies projected to create 93,109 new jobs and make $17.4 billion in new investments.

Past Antelope Valley recipients have included Northrop Grumman, BYD Motors, and Kinkisharyo.

In January it was announced Lance Camper had been acquired by REV Group, a Milwaukee-based specialty vehicle company.  REV Group describes itself as a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of specialty vehicles and related aftermarket parts and services. Their markets include Fire and Emergency, Commercial and Recreation.

This acquisition enables REV to meaningfully enter the rapidly growing over $10 billion towables segment of the RV market by adding Lance Campers’ premium portfolio of truck campers, towable campers and toy haulers to REV’s existing suite of motorized offerings,” a REV Group press release said.

Lance Camper has been described by Mayor R. Rex Parris as a “truly home-grown success story.”

Lance Camper was founded in 1965 in North Hollywood. It moved to the Lancaster Business Park in 1997.

Lance originally produced only truck campers. It grew to nearly 500 employees right before the Great Recession hit. Employment fell to 124 workers.

In 2009, a decision was made to diversify the product line to include travel trailers. The company has grown to become a leader in the travel trailer market.

In January 2017, Lance Camper announced it had acquired a 61,000 square-foot building in the Lancaster Business Park near its existing 110,000 square-foot manufacturing plant and 30,000 square-foot customer service building. The company invested close to $10 million in the expansion, including the building purchase and installation of the computer numeric control equipment for manufacturing composite components.

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jskeen@avpress.com