Paving the road of the EV ecosystem

By Fran LeFort

Washtenaw Community College (WCC) is pairing with industry and state agencies to lead the advancement of Michigan’s electric vehicle ecosystem, offering three new programs to train students for high demand, high-wage jobs.

Within the coming year, the college will launch certificate programs to prepare workers for emerging positions in the industry:

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installation
  • Maintenance & EV Battery Technician
  • Semiconductor Technician Training

“By 2030 there will be hundreds of thousands of electric and autonomous vehicles on the road. Workers will be required to understand how these vehicles operate and how to service and maintain the batteries that run them,” says Washtenaw Community College President Rose B. Bellanca. “WCC is thrilled to train the current and future mobility talent pool in this high-demand area and to support and help expand the EV labor force.”

Michigan’s chief mobility officer has previously said at least 12,000 skilled workers will be required for the state to maintain its position as a global mobility leader.

“There is no question that the future is upon us and is moving at an accelerated pace,” says Brandon Tucker, WCC vice president & chief workforce and community development officer. “The talent requirement for specially trained technicians and engineers to help manufacturers achieve upgrades to electrification is enormous, and Washtenaw Community College is positioned to lead the education and training response.”

Congress awarded $2.5 million to WCC for the new EV charging station maintenance and EV battery technician programs. It is anticipated the charging station installation and maintenance program will begin next spring, and the battery technician program will launch in the Fall of 2024.

In the coming months, WCC will begin building out a new battery lab and EV charging station installation and maintenance training space for students in or around the Occupational Education Building.

The college is also partnering with KLA, imec, General Motors, University of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to support the semiconductor industry.

WCC’s new Semiconductor Technician Training program will prepare workers for emerging jobs that will produce semiconductor chips and advance the electrification of vehicles. The new program is anticipated to launch in Winter 2024.

This story appears in the Fall 2023 edition of WCC’s Launch magazine. See complete issue.

Fran LeFort

is director of media relations at Washtenaw Community College in Michigan.