On Tuesday, February 21st, Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech) celebrated a $939,041 investment for training the electric vehicle (EV) workforce of the future. The funds come from the $26.9 million Wake County is receiving as part of the $1.7 trillion spending bill that President Biden signed in December. The announcement took place on Scott Northern Wake Campus at the Hendrick Center for Automotive Excellence — a state-of-the-art automotive systems lab that is used to train students on the latest industry technologies and trends.
The nearly $1 million will support the “Grid to Plug to Wheels” program, a holistic approach to training students to install and maintain EV charging equipment and repair the vehicles themselves. This investment is one piece of an effort to support the future of electric transportation that is already here.
Wake Tech’s news is part of a string of investment updates in North Carolina’s EV landscape. The recent updates add to the already-robust environment of EV and charging original equipment manufacturers.
- VinFast, a Vietnamese EV manufacturer, selected Chatham County for its first North American site.
- Toyota chose Liberty for a new EV battery manufacturing plant.
- Kempower, a Finnish EV charging technology provider, will locate a new manufacturing facility in Durham County.
- Wolfspeed selected Chatham County as the site of a new manufacturing facility that will produce Silicon Carbide semiconductors.
Wake Tech faculty and students, as well as community and industry leaders, expressed how much this investment means not only for the school but also for our state. As North Carolina continues to attract the EV world, the demand for skilled technicians is increasing. Wake Tech is positioning itself to assist with growing the workforce and provide its students with the tools required to meet the industry’s needs.
Wake Tech’s award is just one example of how North Carolina is building the next generation of talent in clean energy. STEPs4GROWTH is a workforce development program led by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T). It is focused on meeting the demand for workers with specialized skills and training in the energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean vehicles, and grid and resiliency sectors. The program aims to connect educational institutions with employers to provide individuals with quality jobs that are tailored to the clean energy industry.