Sessions featured presentations from the US. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeships, Northern Indiana Workforce Board, and the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
SOUTH BEND – ELKHART REGION (Mar. 2, 2022) — During the 9th Annual RV Industry Power Breakfast, workforce training was one of the main topics of discussion as industry leaders discussed the future of the industry. Keynote speaker Peter Morici highlighted the opportunity to meet the talent shortage by urging RV leaders to develop and expand Registered Apprenticeship programs as a practice to enhance training. As a follow-on to the Power Breakfast, the RV Technical Institute (RVTI) partnered with representatives of the Labs for Industry Transformation (LIFT) Network to host a small gathering of RV employers to discuss these programs in depth, and to highlight a recently registered USDOL program for the RV service technician occupation.
“The RV Technical Institute recently worked with the Northern Indiana Workforce Board to design and register an apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor,” shared RV Technical Institute Executive Director Curtis Hemmeler. “The program enables RVTI to expand our training efforts to upskill workers within RV OEM firms, as the need for skilled service technicians increases as overall production outputs continue to hit record levels. “Our industry has called for robust training offerings, and RVTI is glad to provide our training as one solution to the talent needs. We are excited that the LIFT Network will also be identifying additional postsecondary training partners and collaborations to meet further needs of training for areas such as industrial maintenance, CNC machining, and more as our industry continues to advance towards further innovative production practices.”
Representatives of the LIFT Network, the Northern Indiana Workforce Board, and RVTI are currently working with companies to customize training programs for RV service technicians, industrial Maintenance Mechanics/Technicians and more.
“The LIFT Network is excited to see the growing demand from employers to build and implement Registered Apprenticeship Programs,” shared South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership Chief Operating Officer, Jill Scicchitano. “While we have launched registered apprenticeships for roles such as robotics technicians and industrial maintenance mechanics, establishing apprenticeship programs within RV OEM companies will address a key employer segment of our regional economy. With nearly 30% of regional occupations concentrated within the manufacturing sector, RV manufacturing accounts for a large share of industry occupations. Moving the needle with large OEM employers will signal positive changes for other employers in the region, RV-segmented or concentrated in another segment.
Currently, companies are eligible to apply for training subsidies of up to $5,000 per apprentice within LIFT Network-approved training programs.
About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: educating a world-class workforce, recruiting and retaining great talent, attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing industries, promoting inclusion and sparking opportunities for minorities and helping entrepreneurs thrive. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit SouthBendElkhart.org.
About Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network
The Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network was established to formalize the collaborative opportunities among the South Bend – Elkhart region’s innovation, R&D, workforce training, and educational assets to provide a comprehensive portfolio of cutting-edge resources to support advancement in the region’s key industrial sectors. Collectively these efforts will support the South Bend – Elkhart region through the transformation to an increasingly digital and automated future, enhancing the current manufacturing base with new business models, technologies and tailored workforce training programs while accelerating new high-tech sector growth in the region. For more information about the LIFT Network, visit liftsbe.org.
LIFT Network and the associated iNDustry Labs at Notre Dame were catalyzed by a $42.4 million grant awarded to the University of Notre Dame in 2019 from Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant supports Notre Dame’s partnership with the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership in establishing and advancing the LIFT Network.
About RV Technical Institute
The mission of the RV Technical Institute is to provide world-class training for RV maintenance and repair that will increase the RV industry’s number of trained RV technicians available to service the millions of RVs on the road. The RV Technical Institute seeks to improve the RV consumer experience, reduce repair event cycle times, and aggressively reduce the RV industry’s shortage of trained technicians.
RV Technical Institute
LIFT Network Contact
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership