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RVTI Gains Momentum with Growing Participation and Success in Training Qualified Technicians

The RV industry has been grappling with the persistent challenge of a shortage of qualified technicians in recent years.

However, according to a column by Nathan Hart, RV Dealer Association (RVDA) chair of the board, the tides are turning as the RV Technical Institute (RVTI) gains momentum in addressing this critical issue.

As reported from a recent RVTI Board meeting attended by industry leaders, including RVDA President Phil Ingrassia and Ryan Horsey, RVTI’s success is evident with its significant program participation and achievement growth.

With a staggering 11,000 technicians currently engaged in RVTI, the program has attracted students from non-RV industries, with 1,248 non-industry students trained in 2022 alone.

Levels 1 and 2 of the program have proven effective, and Level 3 is currently being refined, with a targeted launch planned for later this year. The industry’s commitment is evident, as additional resources are allocated for customer support to assist with testing, certification, and general inquiries, further solidifying RVTI’s impact.

Notably, RV dealers nationwide have embraced RVTI, with 786 dealers already having at least one technician in training. This number has exceeded the goal set for 2022, but the question remains: why is it not higher?

The column raises the pertinent question of why dealers are not participating in a program offering a comprehensive curriculum, significantly when the industry subsidizes the cost. The facts are clear – employees trained within their first 90 days tend to have higher retention rates. Investing in training for existing and new employees can yield long-term benefits for dealers, including improved retention, higher collectible efficiencies, increased morale, and better Repair Event Cycle Times (RECT) results.

The column emphasizes the need for increased dealer participation in RVTI to double the number of certified technicians in the coming years.

As an association, the RV industry must work collectively to recruit non-participating dealers and employees into RVTI, despite the commitment and time it may require to create a training program at the dealership level. However, the benefits are evident when technicians requested more training after completing Level 1, displaying their eagerness and commitment to continuing education.

The column acknowledges the hard work and dedication of RVTI’s staff, led by Curt Hemmeler, in improving the overall customer experience in the RV industry. It calls upon dealers to show their appreciation by increasing their participation in the RVTI program, recognizing it as a pivotal solution to address the ongoing challenge of qualified technician shortages in the RV industry.


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