RVTI Staff Visits NRVTA
RVIA has made a substantial investment in the future of RV Tech Training by creating a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational foundation extension of itself which has been named the RV Technical Institute or RVTI. RVTI has been in the works since mid-2018 but is beginning to staff and ramp up to serve the industry.
RVIA and the Go RVing Campaign each donated $5 million to fund to generate the $10 million seed money to kickoff the effort to create RVTI. The good news is if the economy were to go into a recession the funds to continue the work of RVTI will be insulated from the downturn due to its financial independence from RVIA.
Curt Hemmeler, an experienced professional training executive, has been hired to serve as the Executive Director and Senior Vice President of RVTI. He brings decades of experience in the training sector to his position and is hard at work developing the curriculum with the aid of consultants brought in to work on this important project.
In April, TRVA’s Phil Elam, traveled to Athens, TX, to meet with Curt; RVTI’s Senior Director, Education Sharonne Lee; and RVTI’s Dealer Relations Connie Acord, along with Terry Cooper and Steve Anderson representing the National RV Training Academy, NRVTA. Both Sharonne and Connie bring backgrounds which contain decades of RV training experience.
The meeting was initially setup by a meeting of Sharonne and Connie with Terry, Phil and TRVA Past President P.J. Buerger, Princess Craft in Round Rock, in Las Vegas last November during the RVDA Annual Convention. There we urged the RVTI staff to visit Athens and NRVTA, especially once Curt was on board and on staff.
The meeting provided the RVTI team an opportunity to outline the goals and aims of the Institute and to tour and fully understand the investment NRVTA has made in its Academy facility in Athens. RVTI hopes to build a training facility in Elkhart, IN, and partner with various training programs across the U.S. to speed up the training of technicians and reduce the Repair Event Cycle Time, RECT, which plagues the RV industry.
TRVA members recognize NRVTA’s Terry Cooper, a.k.a., the Texas RV Professor, for he has been the leading proponent of advanced tech training for decades in our state and has conducted RV tech training in many dealerships across the state. However, to RVTI’s Curt Hemmeler, Terry was a virtual unknown for Curt is brand new to the RV industry.
TRVA’s Phil Elam commented “…we made some real headway with this meeting in Athens for now Curt and his RVTI team have seen what a significant investment has been made by Terry Cooper in the creation of the NRVTA or simply the Academy. We anticipate many more conversations with Curt, Sharonne and Connie moving forward as we strive, along with Terry, to link NRVTA to RVTI…”
Be watching for future developments from TRVA, NRVTA, and RVTI on this project in the months to come.