Caravelle weathered storm; creates 60 new jobs

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Caravelle Powerboats in Americus is making a comeback, and doing it in a big way. The Chamber of Commerce - Americus Sumter PayrollDevelopment Authority and Recreation Unlimited announced 60 news jobs with the boat maker.

The company closed in 2012, but in 18 months, they've gone from five employees and two dealers, to 143 employees and 50 dealers.

"When you have success, you need more building space; you have to reach out and try to find more building. We reach out to the PDA and they were very receptive," said Chad Roberson, President of Recreation Unlimited.

Building boats is what the company does, but they're also building a success story. "We had five employees and two dealers, currently we have a 143 employees and 50 plus dealers," said Roberson.

The Payroll Development Authority says expanding the job base will help grow the community.   "It shows are work force at its finest because you have so many diverse skills in here. From fiber glass to upholstery to welding. This is our diverse work force that produces work that goes all over the world," said Barbara Grogan, of the PDA.

Bernard Fuller is a 13 year employee of Caravelle. He's a part of building these affordable boats.

"The bigger we are, the more and more we are going to progress. The longer we'll stay here," said Fuller.

Caravelle sells boats all over the world including Canada, Australia and New Zealand. "The brand Caravelle is so strong we've been able to go back into countries that Caravelle was in some years ago, and have success in those markets," said Roberson.

With the new jobs, Roberson says the company can make more boats and create even more demand for their products.

The company has already made some hires. They plan to continuing hiring over the next five years.

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