The coronavirus pandemic caused everyone to rethink their vacations. As people moved away from planes and cruises, social-distancing alternatives such as road trips in RVs increased. In turn, this growing popularity further increased an already growing need for service technicians to maintain and repair these vehicles. The need for more RV technicians is so great that in 2020, RV technician was the third-fastest growing job in the United States, according to a News & Insights report by the RV Industry Association (RVIA).
Windham School District (WSD), which is dedicated to serving incarcerated students inside Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), was ahead of this workforce demand by establishing a new RV Service Technician program this Spring through a partnership with the RV Technical Institute (RVTI). This partnership brings together RVTI’s gold standard RV technician curriculum with the proven track record of WSD to train incarcerated students for new career opportunities.
Through courses such as the RV Service Technician program, WSD strives to prepare students with the necessary education and skills to successfully reenter the workforce within their communities, reducing the likelihood the student will continue their criminal behavior.
The first-of-its-kind, WSD is piloting the RV Service Technician program at the Woodman Campus, an all-women’s facility in Gatesville, Texas, with the goal of expanding to additional campuses in the future. Currently, there are 10 students enrolled in the program, and all are within approximately one year of being released from incarceration to their Texas communities. The first cohort of students will graduate from the program on July 1 and earn their RV Technician Level One certificate. Upon reentry into their communities, the students will have the necessary skills and knowledge to obtain employment and succeed as RV technicians.
“RV technician is a growing field with employment opportunities across Texas. Upon rejoining their communities, our students will have the necessary skills and education to fill these vacant positions, and contribute to the success of the industry,” WSD Superintendent Kristina J. Hartman said.
Through the partnership between RVTI and WSD, RVTI provides WSD with curriculum, training and paths to employment for students. The curriculum teaches students the skills to conduct a pre-delivery inspection of RVs with detailed knowledge about the body, appliances, chassis, generator, electrical, propane, and water systems of the vehicles.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Windham on this pilot program. The opportunities are endless for people entering the RV technician field. With the RVTI training and certification, graduates of this program will be able to build a career anywhere in Texas. Based on the success of this pilot group, we look forward to expanding the programs into more locations through our partnership with Windham,” RVTI Executive Director Curtis A. Hemmeler said.
About Windham School District
Windham School District (WSD) provides academic, Career and Technical Education, and life skills programs to eligible individuals within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). We serve a unique population of incarcerated individuals who were unable to complete their basic education in the past and others who need technical training and soft skills to better equip them for the future. With 86 campuses located in TDCJ facilities across Texas, WSD strives to prepare students with the necessary education and skills to successfully reenter the workforce within their communities.
The mission of the RV Technical Institute is to provide world-class training for RV maintenance and repair that will reduce the RV industry’s shortfall of trained RV technicians. The RV Technical Institute’s gold standard training and curriculum was developed by top RV industry experts and is the only industry-wide RV technician certification. Training is available directly from the RV Technical Institute through in-person classes or the self-paced online program and through our network of Authorized Learning Partners