RV Technical Institute opening up to fight skills gap

ELKHART, Ind.-- According to the latest data, all across america, manufacturers are facing a need for nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs over the next decade

“The RV Industry is not unique to this in that they have a huge need for service technicians," said Curt Hemmeler, Executive Director of RV Technical Institute. 

2 million of those jobs are likely to go unfilled due to a skills gap. Now one school in Elkhart County is working to create a solution.

“The industry came together, put a $10,000,000 dollar grant together to get the school started," said Hemmeler.

That school is the Rv Technical Institute in Elkhart

“It could be misplaced workers, it could be high school seniors, it could be folks that just are really good with their hands that can come here, we will train them. Then due to the openings across the country we can help fill that need.”

How many years do you have in the rv industry?

“32. I started in 1985," said RV Tech professor, Randy Davis.

And that’s just one teacher, Randy Davis.

RV Tech school officials tell ABC57 there is hundreds of years of experience between all educators.

“We’re going to teach electricity, plumbing, propane, basically anything and everything that has to do with an RV," said Davis. "There are so many units that are there in the road right now, and the number of technicians to take care of them are so small that in order to just get an appointment is going to be two to three weeks. From the time they make the appointment to the time it’s done, completed, and ready to go, it can easily be four to five weeks.”

Once students finish their courses at the RV Technical Institute, an estimated 15,000 to 17,000 skilled workers will enter the work force in just the first year.

“The idea that the community and this has invested in itself to help the consumer experience is tremendous," said Hemmeler.

The idea for the school came from multiple vendors, manufacturers with years of experience putting in their input to come up with the best way to fill this need for workers.

On Monday, they, including US Representative Jackie Walorski will be at the school at 3333 Middlebury Street, Elkhart, Indiana for the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony starting at 5:30. There they will discuss:

  • How RVTI  fills a void in the RV industry. 
  • How RVTI will help boost vocational careers and contribute to a national workforce development effort.
  • How RVTI will help reduce the RV repair event cycle time ( usually 21 days)  and create a better consumer experience.
  • The added value RVTI will bring to RV dealers around the country.  


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