The economy sucks. A significant proportion of the (global) population is afraid to spend, and an early casualty is the RV manufacturing industry - for obvious reasons. That industry played a significant role in the economy of Elkhart Indiana - and (at last look) Elkhart is experiencing a 19+% unemployment rate.
Following a PBS Newshour broadcast that reported on their problems, I sent this e-mail to Dick Moore, the Mayor of Elkhart:
===== Begin letter text ==== Yesterday our local PBS NewsHour program reported that Elkhart is experiencing particularly uncomfortable consequences of the general economic downturn, and that your city has both unused production space and people in urgent need of employment.
I own a small business that produces passive solar heating panels, and over the last few years I've been working to develop directly solar-powered engines that appear ideally suited for pumping and refrigeration application.
My present production / R&D facility is located in a rented aircraft hanger at a small airfield on the edge of the small rural community of DeSoto, Iowa. I'm pretty "small potatoes", but I've developed a first class product and orders are on the increase in spite of (or perhaps helped by) the current economy.
The current facility is marginal, and I do not have any significant production workforce available to me.
I'm not much of a "wheeler-dealer" type, and I'm not sure how to go about proposing a nice crisp path from where I am to setting up an operation in Elkhart, but I'm inclined to believe that some kind of partnership between myself and one or several of the RV producers could be worked out so that everyone could benefit.
I'd like to invite discussion if, with your intimate knowledge of Elkhart and the current RV manufacturing businesses, you think this idea might have any real chance of success.
===== End letter text ==== It's been more than a week - and no response (and I'm no longer expecting a response). Obviously, I'm not a wordsmith - but equally obviously, I'm missing something really fundamental here.
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