OC student follows in her father’s footsteps as RV Service Technician
As an RV Service Technician instructor at Okanagan College, Victor Flint welcomes hundreds of new faces to the classroom each year, but none so familiar as his own daughter, Sharla, who is proudly following in his footsteps.
Sharla will join nearly 300 students from various Okanagan College Trades and Apprenticeship programs who will take an important step towards their career path at the virtual Commencement ceremony tonight (Thursday, June 17).
Sharla recently completed the Recreation Vehicle Service Technician Foundation program at the College and she will be graduating on Thursday with a special award –the RV Service Tech Award – in recognition of her strong efforts in the program. The award is presented by the RV Dealers Association of BC to a student who demonstrates both academic achievement and in-class performance.
“It feels amazing to finish this program and already be working in my apprenticeship at Voyager RV Centre, and it feels even more amazing being recognized with this award for the hard work I put in,” explains Sharla. “My dad is one of my biggest supporters and I look forward to coming back to the College in the fall to start my next level of training as I work towards my Red Seal certification.”
Why did Sharla choose the RV Technician program? The variety.
“I see how happy this career makes my dad and I was definitely drawn in by the variety of the program – there are 14 different trades all wrapped into one in this job and you’re never doing the same thing twice,” says Sharla. “Also, the versatility of this career is amazing. Once you complete your Red Seal, you can basically go anywhere in Canada and have a job tomorrow.”
Sharla is graduating at a unique time in the RV industry. Both she and her father Victor – who as an instructor and business owner of Family First Mobile RV Services – have had firsthand experience in an industry that is experiencing unprecedented levels of demand.
While the industry has been steadily growing year after year, the pandemic-related provincial and national travel restrictions have unveiled RVing as both a hobby and vacation of choice.
“The demand for RVs as a vacation option is a huge trend,” says Sharla. “While it seems the provincial restrictions are starting to open up, people are still not travelling to their normal destinations and are in desperate need of a well-deserved vacation – RVing is a no-brainer.”
Sharla received a job offer at Voyager RV Centre before she even completed her program, a trend Victor says comments directly on the demand for skilled workers.
“I’ve always considered RV Service Technician as an important and in-demand career and the current landscape of the industry only supports that claim,” explains Victor. “The pandemic has had some interesting impacts in the RV world and even with dealerships paying higher wages and offering more competitive employment benefits, they still can’t meet the demand the entire nation is feeling right now for RV Technicians.”
Okanagan College President Dr. Neil Fassina will be amongst the first to congratulate and address students at Thursday’s ceremony.
“Congratulations to all of the graduands, you have worked hard to hone your skills and have shown great adaptability and critical thinking in an unprecedented time of learning,” says Fassina.
“The breadth of work from Okanagan College trades students can be seen all around us,” he adds. “If you look at our homes, our schools and hospitals, cars, trucks, boats, RVs, planes, it’s safe to say there’s little around us that OC trades graduates aren’t designing, welding, wiring, building, fixing and troubleshooting to keep our way of life going, and with each passing day, becoming more sustainable.”
Trades Commencement is one of nine convocation and commencement ceremonies Okanagan College will host this year. By the end of July, the College will have sent more than 2,000 graduates into the world.
To view the ceremony and learn more, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/virtualconvocation. Viewers can also visit the webpage in advance to leave messages of congratulations via a digital guest book, pre-order flowers for a graduate with a special discount code or to purchase a commemorative gift.
Okanagan College offers the only entry-level Recreation Vehicle Service Technician program in Canada. The next RV Service Technician program starts September 2021. For more information, program details and to apply for the program, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/rv.
Okanagan College is one of the largest trades training institutions in the province, and the largest in B.C.’s Interior. For more information visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/trades.
Tags: Convocation, Trades, commencement, Inside OC
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