Illinois community colleges receive grants to support electric vehicle industry

25 schools will use funds to build capacity for programs offering EV job training and supporting technology development

The Illinois Community College Board through its Rev Up EV Community College Initiative has awarded $9.4 million to 25 community colleges statewide to help support the state’s growing electric vehicle industry through job training and technology development programs.

The funding will promote the development and growth of training programs that prepare individuals for careers in EV technology and EV-specific advanced manufacturing fields, with a focus on programs and training in areas most in demand by EV businesses and industry partners.

“This funding will allow our community college system to increase the trained workforce and create new technology that will support the growing needs of the industry for years to come,” said ICCB Executive Director Brian Durham.

The competitive grant program is intended to support the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which established Illinois policy to equitably transition to 100% clean energy by 2050. To support the growth of electric vehicles and critical infrastructure for deployment, maintenance and support, Illinois needs adequate training programs producing more talent in EV priority program areas.

College of DuPage is going to receive $525,000 in state funding to help the electric vehicle industry through job training and technology development programs. Daily Herald file, July 2015

Among the grant recipients are: McHenry County College, $90,000, and Oakton College, $90,000, for capacity building; and College of DuPage, $525,000, and College of Lake County, $524,998, for development and expansion.

Grantees are required to participate in the Illinois Green Economy Network-led IL EV Network, an industry collaborative of key stakeholders from industry, higher education, and state agencies guiding the expansion of light and heavy-duty electric vehicle training to satisfy industry demand for high-skill workers.

CLC Automotive Collision Repair faculty work with students in the welding area of the remodeled Building 12, home to the auto body shop. College of Lake County will receive a $524,998 grant from the state to help with the development and expansion of electric vehicle technology programs. Courtesy of the College of Lake County, January 2015

“We are excited to work with these outstanding community colleges to discuss critical industry trends, talent needs in high-priority roles, system-wide strategies, barriers, solutions, and opportunities for collaboration to expand the EV-related advanced manufacturing workforce in Illinois,” said David Husemoller, IGEN executive director.

The $9.4 million competitive grant was awarded in two categories or cohorts: Building capacity for the EV industry by preparing colleges for the future industry needs; and technology development and expansion, including the expansion of EV job training programs from development and production to maintenance of electric vehicles and installation of critical infrastructure.

Electric vehicle sales have jumped significantly in the last year — up 14% in 2022, more than 10 times their share in 2017.

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