Bay Area school trains mobile RV techs to become entrepreneurs

Students at a Pinellas County school are learning more than just tools of the trade, they are learning how to run their own business.

RV Tech Training Center specializes in training mobile techs to go out into the real world and start their own business. 

"Our goal is actually focused on the mobile techs and not just techs that go into a dealership. All of our students are going into business for themselves where they will be helping people out that have broken down or in RV parks and they can’t get their RV into a dealership, so the mobile tech has to go out and run everything as if they are the dealership. They’re just on wheels," shared Kenneth Hernandez the lead instructor at RV Tech Training Center.

Hernandez is a former student who operated his own business as a mobile RV tech.

"I am actually a proud graduate of the school," he said, "I came through a couple of years ago and now I'm back instructing other mobile techs."

Students at RV Tech Training Center work on machine.

He's not just any former student, Hernandez is a retired veteran who was looking for a second chapter in life.

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"Educating the veterans and giving them another life when they come out is very important to us," Hernandez said. "So, when they retire out of the service or they just left a branch, they’re able to come here. It’s paid for by the G.I. Bill. The military will actually pay for them to come to this school and get certified. We provide an avenue and the hope and from the love of humanity and helping them, they get to take it and run with it." 

During the 10-week program, students are taught everything from how to start the business, how to run their business, tools they need and how to be a certified mobile tech with the state. 

Student at RV Tech Training Center works on RV.

"When summer’s coming up, 80% of what we do is going to be AC-driven, where we’re getting into the AC’s, they’re breaking down," Hernandez said. "We always have to have a multi-meter with us because everything is a lot of electric. So, they have to test the AC’s. They have to clean them and get them ready for the season."

When the season begins to change and fall is in the air, the techs switch over to furnaces and heaters in the RVs.

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"Within there, you still have your refrigerators, your water heaters, your full plumbing, just like in a house and when people are traveling, anything can break," Hernandez explained. 

Students at RV Tech Training Center work on machine.

Since they are essentially creating small businesses, the RV Tech Training Center recognizes that students are coming to them looking for something more than just an education.

"The students come here with a hope; the hope is to develop a better skill set, a better life," shared Hernandez.

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In providing those skills, the mission side of RV Tech Training Center comes to life.

"This gives us a hope of doing something," admitted Hernandez, "(Students) being able to have independence. It gives them a sense of pride."

LINK: Learn more about the RV Tech Training Center in Largo here

LINK: Click here for the school catalog and enrollment forms.