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RVTI Recruitment Program Aligns with Recently-Proclaimed Second Chance Month

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Photo courtesy of the RV Technical Institute.

Assuring its support for ex-convicts seeking work post-release, the RV Technical Institute (RVTI) is establishing its hands-on, competency-based technician training program for the incarcerated population, particularly with Westville Correctional Facility in Indiana, and the Linda Woodman State Jail in Texas, as per the News & Insights report of the RV Industry Association.

The goal is twofold: the RV industry delivers a greater number of qualified service technicians while previously incarcerated individuals leave with a new skillset, prepared to enter the workforce upon their release.

The federal government proclaimed the Second Chance Month, which takes place throughout April, reaffirming the importance of helping formerly-incarcerated people reentering society.

According to the White House press release, more than 640,000 prisoners have been released from State and Federal prisons each year.

At present, more than 70 million Americans have criminal records that pose significant barriers to employment, financial stability, and a smooth transition back into society. It results in nearly 75% of those previously in prison remaining unemployed a year after being released.

“The program looks to be gaining positive attention with the rest of the prison population,” said Shane Schwartzkopf, an RVTI instructor at the Westville facility. “In the future, I look to expand the program into other facilities in the area, if possible, and to generate a plethora of skilled technicians willing and able to begin their careers within the RV industry.”

Westville program graduates also enrolled with the Hoosier Initiative for Re-Entry (HIRE) program. It provides job readiness training, including resume development, interviewing, job application assistance, employment assessment, financial literacy and budgeting, digital literacy, employability skills, and workplace conflict resolution.

HIRE representatives will work directly with returning citizens and potential employers operating in the RV industry to ensure job placement.

The Linda Woodman State Jail, located in Gatesville, Texas, shows the same enthusiasm for the program. Ten former inmates, who are the first class of incarcerated students in the nation to graduate as level one RV technicians, have been working with local RV dealers to get jobs.

“They get to learn a very in-demand field and trade that whenever they graduate, they will have the certification, the education, the skills needed that they can take this when they are released back to their communities, and they can find a job,” said Windham School District Communications Administrator Amanda Coleman.

RV Technical Institute Executive Director Curt Hemmeler said that the RV industry has grown exponentially in the last few years, getting record-high shipments and “millions more planning to go RVing.”

“As a result, there are more career opportunities in the service technician field. The RV Technical Institute is excited to partner with the Indiana Department of Correction and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and we hope this will lead to both an increased number of qualified RV technicians. Additionally, we’re excited our program will help provide a second chance for those who were formerly incarcerated, giving them a second chance as they reenter into society,” said Hemmeler.

Those interested in becoming more involved with service technician training can check out the RV Technical Institute’s Authorized Learning Partner (ALP) program. The ALP is a network of regional training partners approved to deliver the Institute’s standardized training locally or nationally. Learning Partners have access to the program’s full curriculum, training materials, learning management system, testing, and training from the RV Technical Institute’s staff on how to track student progress and deliver the curriculum. For more information, contact 574-549-9080 or [email protected].

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Modern Campground

Modern Campground

Modern Campground is the most innovative news source in the Outdoor Hospitality industry. We provide global news coverage for RV Park and Campground owners, operators, managers, and their team members.
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