Bay Area school trains mobile RV technicians to become entrepreneurs

Pinellas County school students learn more than just the tools of the trade, they learn how to run their own business.

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

“Our goal is really focused on mobile tech, not just technicians coming into the dealership. All of our students are going into business for themselves where they’re going to help people who have broken down or in RV parks and can’t get their RV into the dealership, so that mobile technology has to come out and run everything like they’re dealerships. They’re just on wheels,” shared Kenneth Hernandez, lead instructor at the RV Tech Training Center.

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

“I’m actually a proud graduate of the school,” he said, “I went through it a few years ago and now I’m coming back to teach other mobile technicians.”

Students at the RV Tech Training Center work on the machine.

He’s not just any former student, Hernandez is a retired veteran looking for another chapter in his life.

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“Educating veterans and giving them another life when they get out is very important to us,” Hernandez said. “So when they retire from the service or just leave the branch, they can come here. It’s paid for by the GI bill. The military will actually pay for them to come to this school and get certified. They provide a way and hope, and out of love for humanity and helping them, they take it and run with it.”

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

A student at the RV Tech Training Center works on an RV.

“Come summer, 80% of what we’re doing will be AC-powered, and where we’re going into AC, they’re breaking down,” Hernandez said. “We always have to have a multimeter with us because everything is full of electricity. So they have to test the AC. They have to clean them and get them ready for the season.”

As the seasons begin to change and fall is in the air, technicians turn to RV stoves and heaters.

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“Inside of that you still have your refrigerators, water heaters, complete plumbing, just like in a home and when people travel, everything can break,” explained Hernandez.

Students at the RV Tech Training Center work on the machine.

Because they essentially create small businesses, RV Tech Training Center recognizes that students come to them looking for more than just an education.

“Students come here with hope; the hope is that they develop a better skill set, a better life,” Hernandez shared.

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

“This gives us hope to do something,” Hernandez admitted, “(Students) can 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.

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