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RVIA Pilot Program Aims to Boost Tech Training

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November 1, 2013 by   Leave a Comment

(L-R) Sara Pierce, Connie Acord, Wade Greenwood and RVIA President Richard Coon

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has unveiled a one-year pilot program designed to increase the awareness of and participation in industry technician training and certification programs by having field representatives call directly on RV dealerships to educate management and technicians about educational opportunities.

RVIA has hired Wade Greenwood and Connie Acord to serve as RVST in-field representatives. The two began visiting dealerships the week of Oct. 23 after undergoing orientation sessions on industry education programs at RVIA headquarters the week of Oct. 7.

Greenwood, who has experience on the RV manufacturing side handling RV warranty and service issues after working for Forest River Inc. and Skyline Corp., will cover the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Acord will focus on the South Central area, including Texas and Louisiana. She has previously worked for Keystone/NTP, Bumper Manufacturing and Valley Industries.

The pair will collect contact information at dealerships, identify the training that each tech has received to date, and work with service managers to determine the technician training needs. Service training will be coordinated with RVIA members with the goal to bring training directly to the dealerships. Research has found that service managers like the RVST training, but sending technicians away for a week at a time is not feasible.

“We are very excited about the potential of this program to invigorate our RV service tech training efforts,” said Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education. “RV dealerships are busy throughout the year now and can’t afford to send techs away for periods of time for training. New ways have to be found to get this important training to the dealerships, and we think offering training on site is the way to go.”

In addition to the technician pilot program, RVIA is also creating an on-line, controlled access technical library that will be available to participating technicians, invited subject matter experts, and others.

RVIA has hired Sara Pierce to serve as the RVST librarian to specifically find wanted technical information, and, more importantly, to serve as a resource for RVIA supplier and manufacturing members who will be able to manage their own information in this library. She has been working on the structure of the online library, populating it with technical data that RVIA had on file, and contacting member manufacturers and suppliers to gather data and documentation.

Pierce previously worked for the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Va., and holds a master’s in library and information Studies.

“The overall goal of the library and in-field program is to increase RVST training and certification. RVIA has never tracked training in the past and technicians don’t currently have an available mentor to help them plan and obtain the training they want and need. These programs are designed to resolve these issues,” added Hopkins.

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