Being able to find the right person for the job is a challenge that many businesses face when trying to enhance their workforce. Sometimes, creative thinking and finding a new way to break through the clutter is just what’s needed to help a potential employee match up with the right company. That is just how an innovative partnership with Facebook and New Mexico Workforce Connections helped New Mexico-based RV Service Center, Action RV, discover their newest employee.
The RV and trailer industry has faced increased staffing difficulties due in part to a nationwide shortage of trained technicians fueled by the sudden popularity of RVing as a substitute for family vacationing. The RV industry is selling record numbers of RV’s and needs more RV professionals, including trained technicians, to service and repair them. Action RV is feeling the employee shortage pinch. To help mitigate these issues, Action RV enrolled in a special pilot program through Facebook to find the next member of their team. Facebook launched a pilot program in New Mexico to place trained marketing interns in qualified businesses for on the job training and job experience for the interns resume. In a joint program the Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico (WCCNM) and Facebook, an intern was placed with Action RV this past summer.
Action RV welcomed Jimmy O’Kelly, a former assisted living worker with no previous experience in the RV industry, as an intern through the WCCNM program. After meeting all of the assistance criteria, the company is proud to announce that they have officially hired Jimmy onto their permanent staff as Level One RV Technician.
“Out of 182 applicants, Jimmy O’Kelly really stood out against the other candidates, and we truly believe that this innovative partnership was the main catalyst that connected him to us,” said Owner of Action RV Mark Podeyn. “I would encourage any business owner to pursue an opportunity like this and take full advantage of the programs assistance.”
As part of this partnership, New Mexico Workforce Connections pays a significant portion of O’Kelly’s wages while he is in training at Action RV, and will also be paying a portion of O’Kelly’s training at the higher-level RV Technical Institute, through a grant of up to $9,000 to ensure he is fully prepared for his career at Action RV. “This pandemic has hit everyone hard, and agility during times of adversity has become increasingly important,” said Podeyn. “This program allowed both Action RV and Jimmy the space to try something new and resulted in Jimmy being able to learn valuable skills in a new career, while getting my company the help we needed. It’s been a win/win situation.”
“We look forward to having Jimmy join RV Technical Institute for training on the only industry wide RV curriculum and certification program,” said RV Technical Institute Executive Director Curt Hemmeler. “Mark has been an integral part of developing the Institute’s curriculum and a huge supporter of our program. It is out of the box thinking and partnerships like this one between Action RV, Facebook, and state unemployment offices that will allow more RV technicians to receive the training they need to service the new wave of RV consumers.”
To find out more about how to get trained on the only RV industry wide curriculum and certification, click here.