February '19

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D E A L E R S 34 • RV PRO • February 2019 rv-pro.com I f there's one constant battle cry at every RV dealership across North America, it's "We can't find enough qualified applicants to keep up with the demand for technicians." And for those who have been able to find technicians, keeping them on staff is almost as hard. Dealers often find themselves competing for talent – not just with other dealers, but also with other industries – as expertise in plumbing, electricity, drywall, furniture and any of the other myriad features of an RV have applications for other, often higher-paying fields. In 2018, the RV Industry Association announced a multi- million-dollar effort to ease this shortage by founding the RV Technical Institute in Elkhart, Ind., to get people with a propen- sity for such tasks properly trained to fill technician positions. The curriculum for RVTI has largely been laid out, veteran technical educator Curt Hemmeler has been named director and a site for the campus was expected to be chosen shortly after the new year. So, with industry leaders in one place in November during the RV Dealers Association Convention/Expo in Las Vegas, RV PRO magazine sat down with RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer and RVDA President Phil Ingrassia to get a better understanding of how the Institute can help eliminate the tech RVTI: The Track for Tech Training With the industry's new training facility expected to be ready by fall 2019, RVDA's Phil Ingrassia and RVIA's Frank Hugelmeyer talk about the challenges of getting the industry staffed and the benefits to dealers in the U.S. and Canada. By Travis O. Pryor The RV industry isn't alone in its need for skilled laborers, so in an effort to fill that gap, the RV Technical Institute has been created. PHOTOS COURTESY OF RVIA

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