Students from the first class at the RV Technical Institute in Elkhart completed their training Wednesday. The school opened in September to solve a shortage of certified RV mechanics.
The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association invested $10 million into the school to reduce a weeks-long wait period for customers to get repairs. They say it’s because there aren’t enough technicians.
Although 26 students are in the first cohort, two retirees were the first to complete written and practical tests to earn a Level 2 Technician certification.
David Hodge worked on Navy jets for 23 years, but started the program so he could service RVs while he travels in his own. He says the coursework was “intense” because it crammed a year’s worth of material into just eight weeks.
“The word I’d use to describe it is 'awesome,'” he says. “I knew what the school was here for, but I’ve gotten so much more than I expected.”
More students in the school’s first cohort are expected to graduate in coming weeks after passing Level 1 exams.