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RVWA, RVTI Looks To Expand RV Certification Program For Women

After a successful pilot program in Elkhart to bring more women into the RV industry, the RV Women’s Alliance (RVWA) and the RV Technical Institute (RVTI) are already making plans for its growth.

The RVWA, based in the St. Joseph County town of Osceola, partnered with the RVTI in Elkhart to establish the first all-female technician’s certification program, according to a report.

RVTI Director of Recruitment Tracy Anglemeyer said the partners sought 12 women for the pilot but ended up doubling that number after receiving more than 100 applicants.

Anglemeyer said they discovered a barrier to entry into the RV industry for women of which they weren’t previously aware.

“The ladies felt more comfortable in this setting of being with other ladies to ask some questions. They said they never would’ve asked these questions and learned what they did learn if they were in a mixed environment,” said Anglemeyer. “So now, we’re learning a lot…of how to probably teach a little differently or open up the aspect of the room to all questions. The learning that occurs because of the questions that are asked was key to this.”

RVTI said the women who participated in the pilot ranged in age from early 20s to early 60s. Some of the women had some RV mechanical experience while others had none.

The program taught a Level 1 technician curriculum, which Anglemeyer said focuses on seven different areas of an RV, including electrical, plumbing, and propane systems. 

The RVTI website said a Level 1 technician is a “pre-delivery inspector (PDI) technician with a proven skill set to prepare an RV for customer delivery by verifying the operation of all components.”

Anglemeyer said the surge in applications was generated through word of mouth and social media sharing. She said she had also received questions and feedback about the program from other attendees.

“I’ve got people coming to me and saying, ‘Hey, didn’t you guys just do that all-women class? That’s great. How can we participate? How do you go?’ she said. “Dealers are coming and saying, ‘How can we help?’”

The partners are already planning more classes for 2023 in Elkhart and other parts of the country. Part of the expansion is a focus on limitations on class size to maximize learning among participants.

“We have some great partnerships in the RV industry when it comes to not only our dealerships but the manufacturers, the suppliers, and wholesale distributors,” said Anglemeyer. “So, we have some additional sites that we can run with.”

The specific locations are still being determined. Anglemeyer said they are also working on a scholarship fund to help offset some of the costs for participants.

In addition to adding more Level 1 classes, Anglemeyer said the participants in the pilot cohort are wanting to go through Level 2 training together, which is a 200-hour course that focuses on developing a skill set to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair all systems and components in an RV.

She said the partnership plans to work on a hybrid program for both levels in the future.

This article originally appeared on Inside Indiana Business.

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8B3mKs7Jp42
April 24, 2024 10:29 am

Isn’t it awesome to see the buzz around the all-women RV certification program by RVWA and RVTI? It’s gaining so much interest and support in the industry. I believe expanding to more locations will truly boost diversity and inclusivity. Share your thoughts!

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: RVWA, RVTI Looks To Expand RV Certification Program For Women! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/indiana/rvwa-rvti-looks-to-expand-rv-certification-program-for-women/