During the 9th Annual RV Industry Power Breakfast, workforce training was one of the main topics of discussion as industry leaders discussed the future of the industry. Keynote speaker Peter Morici highlighted the opportunity to meet the talent shortage by urging RV leaders to develop and expand Registered Apprenticeship programs as a practice to enhance training. As a follow-on to the Power Breakfast, the RV Technical Institute (RVTI) partnered with representatives of the Labs for Industry Transformation (LIFT) Network to host a small gathering of RV employers to discuss these programs in depth, and to highlight a recently registered USDOL program for the RV service technician occupation.
“The RV Technical Institute recently worked with the Northern Indiana Workforce Board to design and register an apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor,” shared RV Technical Institute Executive Director Curtis Hemmeler. “The program enables RVTI to expand our training efforts to upskill workers within RV OEM firms, as the need for skilled service technicians increases as overall production outputs continue to hit record levels. “Our industry has called for robust training offerings, and RVTI is glad to provide our training as one solution to the talent needs. We are excited that the LIFT Network will also be identifying additional postsecondary training partners and collaborations to meet further needs of training for areas such as industrial maintenance, CNC machining, and more as our industry continues to advance towards further innovative production practices.”
Representatives of the LIFT Network, the Northern Indiana Workforce Board, and RVTI are currently working with companies to customize training programs for RV service technicians, industrial maintenance mechanics/technicians and more.
“The LIFT Network is excited to see the growing demand from employers to build and implement Registered Apprenticeship Programs,” shared South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Chief Operating Officer, Jill Scicchitano. “While we have launched registered apprenticeships for roles such as robotics technicians and industrial maintenance mechanics, establishing apprenticeship programs within RV OEM companies will address a key employer segment of our regional economy. With nearly 30% of regional occupations concentrated within the manufacturing sector, RV manufacturing accounts for a large share of industry occupations. Moving the needle with large OEM employers will signal positive changes for other employers in the region, RV-segmented or concentrated in another segment.
Currently, companies are eligible to apply for training subsidies of up to $5,000 per apprentice within LIFT Network-approved training programs.