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Building a Dream

nuCamp lays the groundwork for future service center

Jesse Mullet, President of nuCamp, has a confession to make: “I find it hard to get any work done these days,” he says.

This isn’t due to a lack of motivation or passion for the work being done at nuCamp. Jesse finds himself captivated by the work going on across the street on Belden Parkway where the nuCamp Service Center and Training Academy is being built.

The new Service Center is more than just a building. It’s not just another construction job. This building is a dream coming to life. It is fulfilling a vision Jesse has had for quite some time — a vision for both the company and the local community.

The Service Center and Training Academy will significantly increase nuCamp’s capacity to service its campers. The new facility will have 20 service bays as opposed to the current repair building’s three. The company celebrated the new state-of-the-art facility with a groundbreaking at the end of May. The building is expected to be completed and ready to start seeing customers in early 2022.

Building with integrity

What does the word “build” mean? If you look it up in the dictionary, you’ll find several definitions. One that stands out says this: “to make stronger or more intense.”

The nuCamp Service Center will certainly make the company stronger and more intense. As of today, there are more than 25,000 nuCamp products on the road. Currently, a repair job might be booked out for as far as seven months.

“There is a need to provide our customers with better service,” Jesse says. “The Service Center will do this, but there is more to it than just that. My vision is for the Service Center to impact the local community as well.”

Jesse’s dad, Joe Mullet, is the founder of nuCamp. Joe’s vision was to create a workplace that embodied the culture of the community.

“I wanted to pay my employees well,” Joe says. “But I also wanted to create a culture where it’s more than just a job. It’s about relationships.”

nuCamp is the world’s largest manufacturer of teardrop trailers. Within its walls, Joe’s vision is alive and thriving. The company has four core values it practices — Care Genuinely, Service Over Self, Always do the Right Thing, and Work Hard. The people of Sugarcreek and surrounding communities base their lives on these values, Joe says. Because of this, nuCamp and the village of Sugarcreek have forged a rich relationship — a relationship which the Mullets wish to make even stronger.

“The first value is Care Genuinely,” says Jesse. “This is where it all begins. When you care genuinely, you don’t just ask, ‘How was your day?’ You listen, and you do whatever it takes to help each other out. When you care genuinely, it leads to our other core values. Service Over Self, Always Do the Right Thing, and Work Hard. This is what we are all about. We practice these values and have faith along the way.”

Providing opportunities

Jesse grew up as an Amish boy. As young as 10 years old, Jesse would help his father build gazebos at their home in Sugarcreek. He recalled a time when he accidentally put a staple into one of his fingers. Luckily, the damage wasn’t permanent. Despite the challenges of working at such a young age, Jesse wouldn’t change a thing.

“I wouldn’t trade my heritage for the world,” he says. “I learned what hard work was when I was young. The important thing is that I bonded with my dad. I learned hard work and values that I remember to this day. Growing up Amish, you didn’t see a lot of the world around you, but you learned what’s important. And you learned how to do stuff.”

That’s where the dream for the Service Center intersects with Jesse’s upbringing. Jesse’s dream is for local youth to learn the same skills and values Joe taught him when he was a boy.

“The Repair and Service Center will have two stories,” Jesse explains. “Both literally and figuratively. Repair on the first floor, but the second story is the best part of the story.”

The second floor of the building will be like a university for students to learn hands-on training, aptly named nuCamp University. The academy will have 15 learning environments housed within the 50,000 square-foot building. These young adults will have the opportunity to safely handle and operate tools.

“It’s more than just that,” Jesse says, his excitement growing. “It’s learning how business works. I want these kids to be able to learn life skills! To learn how to connect with people. To learn how to feel emotion and how to communicate. I want this Service Center to impact the community in a positive way. And that, in turn, will ripple out and touch the world. I want to create a legacy that matters. And the best part is, God has all the resources.”

Jesse plans to teach young kids the basics of doing practical work, such as welding, plumbing, electrical, and woodworking. And it’s not just to train workers for nuCamp, it’s for the entire community regardless of where they have plans to build a career.

“If these kids go elsewhere, that’s OK,” he assures. “The right people will come when it’s time.”

The new Service Center will also act as a training hub for nuCamp’s dealers. Technicians will have the opportunity to work toward certificates and receive specialized training on nuCamp’s unique teardrop trailers and truck campers. The company has more than 65 dealers across the U.S. and Canada.

Building the exceptional

Pleasant Valley Teardrop Trailers, now known as nuCamp, was founded in 2004.

Founder Joe Mullet had the vision to begin building teardrops, which over time developed into what nuCamp is today. Joe didn’t let fear of the unknown stop him from working toward that goal. He also didn’t let hard times knock him down after he briefly closed his doors in 2008 during the Great Recession. He grabbed his dream by the horns and built a business from the ground up. It all started with a single teardrop in his garage and grew into a company that has exceeded his wildest expectations.

Jesse wants to follow his father’s example.

Three years ago, Jesse rode his bike across America to raise money for Pure Gift of God, a Sugarcreek-area adoption support agency. Along the way, he had time to reflect on personal improvement. He had time to think about his own goals.

“I was challenged to not look at life through a small lens,” he says. “You can’t just let a dream sit out there.”

The company slogan is “To Build the Exceptional.” That is what nuCamp aspires to do every day. The exceptional is being built not only in the product itself but also in the people who build and use it.

Whenever Jesse looks out the window of his office, he seems his own dream taking shape. The land no longer looks like a patch of leveled dirt as metal beams, siding, and bricks take shape to show the framework of what is to be the nuCamp Service Center and Training Academy.

Build: to make stronger and more intense. That’s the challenge for all of us in our lives.

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