BLOUNTVILLE — The National Science Foundation recently awarded Northeast State Community College a $349,340 grant to integrate electric vehicle (EV) technology into the college’s current automotive programs.
The project is funded by NSF’s Advanced Technology Education Program which focuses on training in areas of advanced technology that drive the nation’s economy.
As planned, Northeast State will work with industry partners to develop/adapt the curriculum and train electric vehicle service and repair technicians to meet employment needs across the state and beyond.
The college will also be part of the National Electric Vehicle Consortium, a diverse network of academic and industry experts funded by a separate NSF award to develop national standards for electric vehicle training in a variety of fields, including manufacturing, servicing and repair, conversion of vehicles. , security and standards and emerging technological advances.
“We’re bringing together smart people in the electric vehicle world to standardize knowledge across fields and nationally,” said consortium principal investigator Dr. Kevin Cooper. “We want to identify gaps and ensure that all programs are sustainable over the long term.”
According to the NSF, industry leaders agree that there is an immediate shortage of skilled technical workers in nearly every sector needed to support the electric vehicle industry. Labor force projections estimate that the electric vehicle sector will create 250,000 to 500,000 well-paying jobs by 2030.
The first item on the agenda for Northeast State is a job analysis with industry partners, followed by a review of the college’s current automotive technology curriculum and the development of additional vehicle courses and training. electrical.
Other components include faculty training and a focus on recruiting a diverse student body, with an emphasis on women.
The project starts on July 1 and ends on June 30, 2025.
According to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee ranks first in the Southeastern United States for electric vehicle manufacturing, with more than 162,000 electric vehicles manufactured since 2013. Ford, General Motors and LE Energy Solutions recently announced plans to invest billions in the state for the production of electric vehicles and parts.
“We are thrilled with the NSF grant and the trust shown in Northeast State to ensure workforce development in the emerging electric vehicle industry,” said Dr. Donna Farrell, Dean of Technology at Northeast State. “We look forward to the challenge of integrating EV technology into our already successful automotive technology programs.”
A brand new $5.6 billion mega campus in Stanton, Tennessee, called Blue Oval City, is set to create about 6,000 new jobs and reinvent vehicle and battery manufacturing.