Increasing boat sales create demand for boats, skilled workers in Ozarks factories

LEBANON, Mo. Each boat at the Lowe Boats plant in Lebanon, Missouri, is built with pride, and getting them assembled just can’t happen fast enough as far as water enthusiasts are concerned.

Skilled workers are in demand for places like Lowe Boats in Lebanon, Mo.

“We call them roughneck models. They’re typically used for not only fishing but hunting as well,” said Ben Cast, the president of Lowe Boats.

Cast has seen the industry, nearly capsizing a decade ago, now accelerating to its strongest growth period ever.

“We’re at levels even above where we were pre-recession time frame,” Cast said.

New boat sales are at a ten-year high in Missouri and Arkansas. That trend is creating jobs and a need for workers in local plants. Within the last six years at Lowe Boats, they have had to more than double their staff, and they still need people.

“The market’s been very strong for a few years now actually, so it’s forcing us to rethink and reinvent some of the ways that we’re doing things to be able to meet that need,” Cast said.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association cites the improving housing market, higher employment, strong consumer confidence, and growing disposable income as factors behind the record-setting sales. Local boat builders are expecting those climbing numbers to keep them afloat in coming years.

For more information about openings at Lowe, visit this website:

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