By Marilyn Odendahl, Truth Staff

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Another recreational vehicle maker has announced plans to hire hundreds of workers.

Heartland RV in Elkhart has begun the first phase of an employment initiative that is expected will add more than 400 workers by the end of the first quarter in 2010. The manufacturer said the expansion was mandated by a spike in unit sales which has created a backlog of dealer orders.

Heartland is hiring about 200 production workers and anticipates bringing on another 200 by March. The company's total payroll will then reach 1,200 employees.

Heartland, which was founded in 2004, makes fifth wheels and travel trailers. It ranked third in fifth wheel production in August, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.

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