In the early '50s, Forest City was dying, as many small farming towns. It established a Development Corporation and charged it with selecting an industry and providing start-up help. A decision was made to start manufacturing recreational trailers, and a company was formed under the wing of an established California firm. A few years later, Winnebago Industries (named for the nearby river) separated from the parent firm and made steady growth. In the late 60'sthe company built the first motor home (trailer with an engine) and has steadily grown to be the largest motorhome manufacturer. The commitment to employees, community, customers, and shareholders seems to be very well balanced. The company employs 4,500 people in its plants at Forest City and Charles City, and turns out about 1,000 vehicles a month.