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NRVTA Managing Director Terry Cooper

The National RV Training Academy (NRVTA), the Athens, Texas-based organization that provides RV repair and maintenance education to would-be service techs and others, is developing a Saturdays-only course in an effort to reach students with limited availability.

“What we’ve found is that we have a lot of folks who would like to make a career change, but they can’t make that change because they still have to have that job to take care of their family,” said NRVTA Managing Director and co-owner Terry Cooper.

Established in January of 2018, NRVTA curriculum features five week-long instructional modules on a variety of general and specialized RV systems and components, including RV maintenance, air conditioners and heat pumps, absorption refrigerators, water heaters and furnaces, and exterior systems.

Many of NRVTA’s students have chosen to become registered RV technicians with the RV Industry Association (RVIA) and RV Dealers Association (RVDA), a process that is transitioning to come under the auspices of the RV Technical Institute. Students who do not elect to take the exam generally are people seeking to simply gain the expertise to maintain their own RVs, while others also become an RV inspector certified by the National RV Inspectors Association (NRVIA), another program operated by Cooper.

Each NRVTA training module takes 40 hours to complete, but Cooper told RVBUSINESS.com that not every student is able to make such a time commitment. Hence, he is developing a program that takes place on five consecutive Saturdays.

“If they can come with us and spend five days, they graduate and they’re ready to go to work for a dealership as a PDI tech or a service advisor. But a lot of these folks can’t get off work to come and spend the five days with us. So, what we’ve done is we’ve created a Saturday school,” Cooper said. “What would have normally been five days in a row, now they’re going to do five Saturdays in a row. They’ll get the same education, graduate, and they’re ready to go.”

Cooper explained that they’ll initiate a pilot program as a beta test beginning Feb. 29, then assess the results — including if there is a feasible demand — and make any necessary changes.

“Let’s see what our response is,” Cooper said. “That’s why we’re doing seminars at the (consumer) RV shows. We’re handing out printed material on this, and we’ll find out. If it works, we’ll run with it.”

The NRVTA campus includes a 15,000-square-foot facility that houses five classrooms, three service bays and overhead observation areas. In addition, NRVTA is located at the 37-acre Texan RV Park, in which students often choose to stay during their time in the program.