The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Fri Aug 5, 2016
One year ago, Josh Dewaal, a then-freshman at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, had quit a job that didn’t offer advancement and was looking for another that would be close to home and would give him the possibility to both pay for college and work in a good environment that offers him the possibility of advancement.
This week, Dewaal was awarded the Mike Molino RV Learning Center Scholarship for the 2016-17 school year while working as the sales and marketing assistant at American RV.
What happened in between is a story of persistence, ingenuity and simply being in the right place at the right time.
“It’s kind of funny how I started out in the RV business,” Dewaal says. “I was looking for a medium-sized company to work for near my house and thankfully, there were three RV dealership near my house. I applied and the general manager (Chad Neff) called me back the same day.”
Dewaal started at American RV on July 13 of last year, cleaning RVs in the lots and wiping down the slide-outs. After a few months, the sales and marketing assistant left for another job in California and Neff and those at American RV started looking around for someone to fill the position.
Dewaal put his foot forward and showed the management that he had the skills to serve in a technical and marketing position. Going into his sophomore year at Davenport majoring in network security, Dewaal had technical, editing and network skills that Neff was looking for. He was hired as the new assistant, but Dewaal says he juggles a few hats back and forth.
“I do quite a few things. My main job is I’m in charge of the inventory online,” he says. “I take thousands of pictures a month and list them all on the website with the information. I also work with the product specialist and I’m the videographer for YouTube videos. We’re in the middle of updating our website and I’m in charge of making all the model pages.”
Looking for financial help to pay for his schooling, the company’s human relations department looked around for him and found the Mike Molino scholarship opportunity. After printing off his transcript, writing a 500-word essay on his goals and objectives, listing his achievements and filling out a large application, Dewaal was shocked to find out that he had won the $2,500 scholarship among applicants nationwide.
“I felt pretty honored,” he says. “It’s nice to be recognized in a national scholarship.”
Neff also spoke about Dewaal’s work ethic and attitude and says he and American RV are lucky to have him.
“Josh has been an integral part of our team since day one,” Chad Neff says in a press release. “He steps up to any task that he is given and then some. His initiative and drive to do the best job he can should be an inspiration to other college students like him. We hope to keep Josh around while he finishes his degree and to support him in the next four years.”
Dewaal says American RV provides a flexible schedule for him during the school year and he plans on working for the company at least through his graduation. He maintains a 3.96 GPA and says his degree would allow him to work for a variety of companies as a network security specialist, including many companies within the RV industry.