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Wednesday, Dec 7, 2022
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Camper Crew Grows to Fill Big Outdoors

Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp. is making a $10 million investment into its future with the purchase of a new building and hiring 150 additional employees to continue making its trailers and campers in the Antelope Valley. The 61,000-square-foot facility will be the fourth Lance-occupied building in the Lancaster Business Park. At full production, the company will employ more than 600 workers. Jack Cole, owner and president, said Lance has maxed out what it can do in its current plant. To get to the next level of production, it needed to expand. “It is basically allowing the company to continue to grow,” Cole said. Vern Lawson, economic development director for Lancaster, said the building Lance bought has been vacant for several years after Signature Fundraising, the previous tenant, moved its operations to Texas. The city benefits not just from the additional jobs but from the renovation of a rundown building in the business park, Lawson said. “At a time in America when job creation is everything and American jobs are in the headlines, here are jobs in Lancaster that fit that need,” he added. Work has already started on improvements to the building and Cole expects it will be occupied by June. The company has 8 acres of vacant land it was going to build on but the Great Recession stalled those plans. And the amount of work the company has been getting – it made about 3,000 trailers and campers last year – meant it couldn’t afford to wait to construct a new building, Cole said. “This building was available and it suited our needs for the time being,” he explained. The new site will be used primarily for computer numerical control, or CNC, machines to make the composite material shells for the campers and trailers. About 90 percent of the company’s manufacturing is done by those automated machines, Cole said. Cole began working for Lance as a teenager in 1966, the year after the company was founded in the San Fernando Valley. It started out making just camper shells, those ubiquitous covers placed atop the back of pickup trucks. But since taking over the company in 1980, Cole has guided its expansion into trailers and, most recently, toy haulers – trailers that can carry motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. With Lance in business for so many years, the city is confident the company’s plans will go through, Lawson said. “We are certain this is going to happen and it is a good deal for us,” Lawson added. – Mark R. Madler

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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