RV PRO

February '19

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36 • RV PRO • February 2019 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S RV PRO: We have heard anecdotal evidence of some dealers, for example, not being able to get away for Open House because they are tied up helping in the shop. Have you heard stories like that? Ingrassia: Most dealers probably come up through sales, but certainly any time a department in a dealership – whether it's service, sales or whatever – if they're having trouble getting people, that impacts the owner. I've had a couple of guys call me about other issues they have had in a dealership and if they have issues in that area, they have to backfill it. RV PRO: How quickly will RVTI be up and running and how quickly can it start turning out qualified techs? Hugelmeyer: There are two pools we're focusing on. One is: How do we raise the skill level of existing techs? We already have training going on through the TNT (Technicians in Training) program for being raised to that registered level. The new pool is dependent on several factors: One is a whole new curriculum that is being built out. That includes a Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. Level 1 is going to be complete within January. That's PDI. That will be available for partners to be able to do at a regional level like in Florida or other types of tech schools to get accred- ited by the Institute. The second level will be much more robust. We're not going to be done with that curriculum until around the summer time. Level 3 will be very targeted toward different brands or suppliers and will take toward the end of the year. Our curriculum really will be built out in stages. Those levels will be available through our regional partners. The actual training facility we're expecting to be up and running by next fall. First, we have to choose the location, then you have to remodel it to be a technical center. You have to build lifts, you have to put in the work bins. The good news is we've got members who have just built these, including Matt Miller (with Newmar). We're going to be using the experience of our members to build this out and do it as quickly as possible. They stood that up in 10 months, so I'm pretty confident that once we select the building that we can have the facility up and running within a 10-month time frame, which puts us back in that fall ribbon-cutting. Then you have to build a recruitment and placement proce- dure. The executive director will be able to move quickly and the core and hub will be operational by fall with a full curriculum, with a full facility and staff and recruitment in place. There's a lot of work, but we have a very clear plan. We hope to keep the entire staff that has been planning this in place through deployment. Ingrassia: The hub and spoke is really important for dealers. A technician installs a ball hitch on a Chevy pickup at an RV dealership. RVTI training is expected to cover the spectrum of duties technicians face, from PDIs to chassis repair. RV technicians need a wide variety of skills to become fully certified. They can be tasked with working on everything from electrical, to plumbing, to HVAC, to drywall and chassis repair.

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