This past fall, THOR Industries partnered with schools across Elkhart County, Ind., to educate more than 2,900 students in 5th and 8th grades about the RV industry and equip students for future employment opportunities. THOR’s 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 program has grown exponentially with nearly 13,500 students completing the program across all seven public school districts in Elkhart County. The program is on pace to reach nearly 5,800 students during the 2021-2022 school year.
“The LEAP program is focused on investing in our community’s future,” shared Bob Martin, THOR president and CEO. “It seeks to generate a genuine interest in and appreciation for 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, 5th and 8th grade students are presented a differentiated immersive educational experience. Fifth grade students have 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. 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.
“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,” said Rick Schutt, THOR’s director of community development. “It’s been very rewarding building a program which is extremely popular with students, teachers and administrators.”