Updates On The New RV Technical Institute

Jul 25, 2018

A flurry of planning and activity has taken place since the RV Industry Association Board of Directors approved and the RV Dealers Association (RVDA) Board of Directors endorsed the creation and funding of the RV Technical Institute in June.

The strategic plan approved by the Boards included a 30-60-90-day plan that focused activity around three key areas: curriculum development, executive search and establishing an Elkhart-based facility and training center. Tangible progress has been made in all three areas.

Significantly, RV Industry Association staff created a detailed implementation plan and an activity network diagram to serve as a roadmap for execution in these areas.

Curriculum and Delivery
New tech training curriculum is at the heart of the institute’s mandate to significantly increase the number of trained RV technicians in North America. To turbo-charge the development of world-class curriculum, a professional curriculum development firm has been retained as well as a technical writer. These resources will be working with a team of industry technician training subject matter experts supported by industry consultant Mary Romeo and education staff Sharonne Lee and Tammy Holland to make a major curriculum development push during the month of August. The goal is for the team to be beta-testing the new curriculum in November.

The team is also in the process of adding a new trainer and re-purposing existing education staff to focus on the future of technician training by the institute.

Executive Search
The new institute will require new leadership by an individual with experience in all aspects of operating a world-class technical establishment. An executive recruitment firm has been retained and a basic job description developed for the institute’s executive director. The search firm will be conducting interviews with key stakeholders to build out a detailed set of job requirements and skill sets. It will then work with a small team of industry executive hiring subject matter experts supported by RV Industry Association President Frank Hugelmeyer. The goal is to have the new leader in place by January 1, 2019.

A world-class institute needs a world-class training facility and headquarters. A small team of industry land and facility subject matter experts have been tapped to clarify the needs and requirements for the facility. Members of this small team have managed over 60 facility projects for industry companies in the Elkhart area in the past year alone.  The team, which has already met once and will continue working on the facility project in August, is being supported by RV Industry Association’s Matt Wald, who will continue to serve as overall point person for the development of the institute until the new executive director is hired.

In addition to these core efforts, progress is continuing to be made on the repair event cycle time (RECT) initiative, which is being led by Garry Enyart of Cummins Power Generation and Phil Ingrassia of RVDA. The RECT task force of dealer principles continues to work with dealer management system providers to create RECT dashboards and other RECT management tools so that this key performance indicator can be measured and managed - not just at the dealer level but by the entire industry.

“While there is still a great deal of work to be done, the industry can rest assured that significant progress is being made in the development of the RV Technical Institute,” said RV Industry Association Chairman Bob Parish. “I have total confidence in the team, especially in the process they are using of including RV industry subject matter experts in each phase of building the institute. This is truly an industry-driven effort.”

The industry has made a major investment in the RV Technical Institute and is strategically mapping out a “success-oriented timeline” according to RV Industry Association Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Matt Wald. “We have planned the work and now we are working the plan. The industry has made a major investment in the institute and we are going to achieve maximum return on that investment - building at a pace that ensures total quality in every aspect of the build-out.” Wald concluded.

To learn more about the RV Technical Institute, click here.