This fall, Thor Industries Inc. partnered with 19 schools across Elkhart County to educate 2,800 students in fifth and eighth grades on the RV industry and help equip students for future employment opportunities. The LEAP (Learn, Engage, Achieve, Perform) program, is a curriculum designed to capture students’ interest in the RV industry and provide an initial look into RV-related career paths.
Since launching in 2017, the LEAP program has grown exponentially, and with each of the seven public school districts in Elkhart County currently participating, is on pace to reach nearly 5,500 students and partner with a total of 38 schools during the 2019-2020 school year.
“The LEAP program is all about investing in our community’s future,” Thor President and CEO Bob Martin says. “It seeks to generate a genuine interest in and appreciation of our industry among students, provide tangible job skills and allow students to experience the adventure RVs offer.”
Along with providing a fun learning experience, the LEAP program also aids local school districts with fulfilling Indiana’s educational requirements of applied learning and real-world experience. With two unique courses for each grade, 5th and 8th grade students are presented a differentiated immersive educational experience. Fifth grade students are provided the opportunity to tour all types of motorized and towable RVs, as well as learn about the RV industry and Thor’s role in the community. While eighth grade students, who are beginning to explore career opportunities, are assigned projects which introduce problem solving techniques, promote team building, and are advised how these transferable skills relate to various career opportunities which exist in the RV industry.
“It’s been very rewarding building a program which is popular with students, teachers and administrators,” Thor’s Director of Community Development Rick Schutt says. “Raising awareness of the RV industry and career pathways through our hands-on interactive program is a fantastic way to continue to build Thor’s relationship in the greater Elkhart area.”