Manufacturing experts from Elkhart, Indiana – known as the RV Capital of the World – spent three days at Okanagan College providing the latest techniques to dozens of technicians from around the province.
“Eighty per cent of the RVs are built in Elkhart, and so we have three factory reps who work at the forefront of RV appliances providing direct training to technicians here in B.C.,” said Jon Itterman, an instructor with the RV Service Technician program at the College.
About 35 technicians from Prince George, Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan and the Kootenays were at the Kelowna campus to take part in the training sessions, organized by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of B.C.
“The partnership with Okanagan College provides a great venue for hands-on training session for these annual service seminars,” said Joan Jackson, executive director of the RVDA of B.C.
Chantal Hershberger, who works for Atwood Mobile Products in Elkhart, Indiana, came to the College for the first time to help technicians with furnace repairs.
“It makes a really big difference for technicians who are handling these units,” she said. “It means they’re able to diagnose the problems faster which helps the customer and it also helps us with our warranty costs.”
Many of the technicians are graduates from Okanagan College’s RV Service Technician program, with some having more than 20 years experience.
“The College plays a pivotal role in the province’s RV industry by ensuring these kinds of relationships are built and maintained,” said John Haller, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeships. “Industry needs to know we are partners with them, and can help ensure their workers are receiving the best training available – even once they’ve received their Red Seal.”
The Okanagan College RV Service Technician program provides entry level and apprenticeship training for the industry, offering two intakes per calendar year. The next session starts in February.