February '19

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rv-pro.com February 2019 • RV PRO • 41 industry that needs similar skilled laborers but has deeper pockets? A Team vs. Know-Everythings Brian Wilkins and Terry Cooper come at the problem from different angles, but the two industry veterans agree on who makes the perfect technician. Wilkins is president of Wilkins RV, with four locations in the northeast U.S. He also is former chairman of the board of RVDA. Cooper is the guy you see around industry events wearing a Texas-sized, Texas flag shirt. He is a master certified technician and trainer who goes by the moniker The Texas RV Professor. He is president of the National RV Inspectors Association and managing director of the National RV Training Academy. Both the executive and the educator agree – with as many different aspects as there are to learn to become the go-to person in a shop, the place to start is with people who enjoy working with their hands and tearing things apart. "I think the biggest thing we look at is we want to see someone of good character and with high energy," Wilkins says. "If you have someone coming to work for the right reasons, you can train a lot of the other stuff. Electrical skills are important. It's one of those things you either get it or you don't. From there, you probably aren't going to find somebody that's good at everything. You need somebody that's good at A/C work; somebody who is a plumber; a chassis person, refrigerator – you've got the spectrum." "I'd love to have somebody fresh out of the military with a little bit of technical background where they have already been exposed to some of the basics," Cooper says. "It's easier to get them trained and they've already been taught trou- ble-shooting, so they think differently and don't seem to be as scattered. You want somebody with a lot of energy who sees the demand and the opportunity to make the kind of money that's there for them to make." Cooper says that identifying the right person is vital, because, for example, if the person is not focused on the task at hand and isn't able to systematically handle trouble-shooting, that person is Brian Wilkins is president of Wilkins RV, with four locations in the northeast U.S. He also is a former chairman of the board of RVDA.

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