Northhampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa., will begin offering an online training program in January for those looking to become recreational vehicle technicians, according to the Express Times of Easton, Pa.
The college will launch three online courses to provide training for an industry that has grown substantially in recent years, according to the newspaper.
“The demand is great enough,” said Greg Dewalt of Dewalt’s Recreational Vehicles in Easton. “Right now I could hire two to three (RV technicians) easily. We’re really trying to attract new kids into this industry.”
Northampton’s curriculum will be based on textbooks developed by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) that also are used to provide training via satellite courses in more than 200 RV dealerships throughout the nation.
Dewalt, who also serves as president of the education committee of the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA), teamed with the college to plan the online program earlier this year.
A traditional classroom version of the program already is offered at Northampton Community College in conjunction with the National RV Training Institute (NRVTI), which has seen a dwindling number of participating schools in recent years.
Northampton’s online program will make it possible for anyone in the country to learn about the industry from the convenience of their home. The hope is that interest will be high in a growing industry, said Don Bray, Northampton’s director of automotive technology programs.
Participants will be able to communicate online with fellow students, as well as their instructor, Gary Bunzer, a San Diego resident and veteran RV consumer columnist known to many in the industry as the “RV doctor.” Bray said Bunzer will be employed by the college, but he’ll work out of San Diego to teach the three courses. Students will study textbooks as part of their curriculum and take tests created by Bunzer.
The program also aims to set up the students with hands-on training at RV businesses near their hometowns. Finding businesses to cooperate shouldn’t be a problem given the increasing demand for RV technicians, Bray said.