One of the biggest RV rigs cruising North America today will be helping Okanagan College students get their careers on the road, thanks to a donation from a Calgary man with a college connection.
Ron Lee took Okanagan College’s popular RV owners lifestyle seminar series for two years running and in that time, got to know instructor Jon Itterman. This year, when the two got chatting, Lee mentioned an older rig he had parked in his backyard.
“Jon said the students could probably really use it, so that got me thinking,” said Lee.
When Lee returned home to Calgary, he virtually turned around, this time driving his 2001 30-foot, class A motorhome straight to the Kelowna campus where he handed over the keys to John Haller, OC’s dean of trades and apprenticeship programs.
“I used to work for the University of Manitoba so I have an attachment to post-secondary institutions,” Lee said.
The donation will help enhance students’ skills.
“Okanagan College is extremely grateful when people think of our students here, even from as far away as Calgary,” said Haller.
Lee clocked nearly 13,000 kilometres on the RV over a two-year period travelling throughout the Prairies, and down through Reno, Nevada to Sacramento, Calif.
The rig is now in need of numerous repairs which makes it a perfect educational tool for students enrolled not only in the RV service technician program but also the automotive program.
“Our collision repair students will be able to work on the air-conditioning, while our RV students can work on the electrical problems, and the interior. Students need to work on real situations because that’s what they will be doing out in the field,” said Itterman.
“It really adds to their resume when they can tell employers they worked on real problems that came into the shop.”