February '19

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rv-pro.com February 2019 • RV PRO • 39 industry. That includes the dealer trade associations like Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas. There are private entities where they have started to build tech training specifically for RV. That probably would be a higher pri- ority for a strategic partner for us. There are dealers who are expressing very high interest in cre- ating their own little school. Camping World is one of those, but there are others out there who are small independents. All of those are potential candidates. I suspect that the accredited partners on the front end that will occur in the first couple of years of the Institute are going to almost all be out of the industry and really vested partners. That's the importance of the hub. The majority of the first-timers who have never been in the industry are probably going to go through that Elkhart hub to get started. But the overwhelming majority of the students are going to be those at the regional partners that are close to the dealers that makes it easy for the dealer to send the tech. They don't lose as many days outside of the building. If we can build that strong network, we are going to be a stronger industry. Ingrassia: It's not just U.S. There are several in Canada that have expressed interest. RVP: It's not uncommon for a dealer say, 'I don't want to send my people for training because I can't afford to lose them that many days,' or 'Why should I get my techs certified because they will just get another job somewhere else?' How do you move past that? Hugelmeyer: There's an old story with a CFO talking to a CEO. The CFO says, 'What happens if we train all of our people and they leave?' The CEO says, 'What happens if we don't and they stay?' That's not a good strategy. The best businesses always invest in their people. Consumers are coming from an automotive experience and they are assuming that everyone is trained. It's at our own peril that we put untrained people working in a time when consumer expectations are only growing. Ingrassia: People are going to make their own business decisions in this industry based on their best interests. The idea, whether it's coming to this convention or an RV Learning Center program, you have to make a business case that it is valuable, and I think you win. I've heard people saying those things for 20 years and – good luck to you.

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