Every year, we celebrate Labor Day by honoring the working men and women of America whose tenacity and resilience have built our country from the ground up. 

At its inception, Labor Day was intended to be a holiday dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker. It was designed to be a yearly nation-wide tribute to the impact tradespersons have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. However, over the years, the original meaning of the holiday has morphed, now also serving as an end of summer celebration highlighted by RV campouts, tailgating and outdoor barbeques. 

That’s why I think it is important to acknowledge and remember the many contributions of the laborers who drive the RV industry. Without the daily commitment of our valued employees, RV sales would not be at an all-time high, nor would we have achieved our status as a $50 billion industry sector.  

Overall, the outdoor recreation economy is a bigtime job engine and accounts for 2% of America’s gross domestic product, outpacing both the utilities and pharmaceutical industries. Over the four years recently measured by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation’s annual contribution to the GDP has been 4.4%, outpacing the 3.6% for the overall economy. For its part, the RV industry sector is a major driver of that overall GDP contribution and an employment leader, providing rewarding and high paying jobs from RV manufacturers, suppliers and dealers. 

While business is booming, our industry, like so many others, is now experiencing a labor shortage. To address this deficit in our labor pool, the RV Industry Association has significantly grown its investment in technical training by creating the RV Technical Institute (RVTI), a new nonprofit foundation to be based in Elkhart, Ind. The mission of RVTI will be to aggressively solve the industry’s shortfall of trained technicians, reduce repair event cycle times and improve the overall RV consumer experience. 

None of our dynamic growth would be possible without the dedication and relentless work ethic of the RV industry’s employers and employees. Furthermore, our future depends upon attracting and retaining the very best talent and developing well qualified technicians. So, please take a moment to thank your team for all their hard work and know that the RV Industry Association is working equally hard to build a lasting and solid foundation for our member companies and their valued employees.  

Have a very happy and well-deserved Labor Day!