Since Jan. 1, 2019, Michigan has added more than 35,000 automotive jobs building electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries, manufacturing computer chips, and producing clean energy. As the EV sector grows, how can educators and job seekers plug in?
One answer is the Michigan Electric Vehicle Jobs Academy. The employer-led collaborative identifies occupational skill needs while developing and scaling credentialing programs through a shared online learning platform at 32 colleges and universities statewide. In short, the academy puts EV employers in the driver’s seat to develop education and training to meet the industry’s talent needs. On March 1, 2023, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the academy’s website: Michigan.gov/EVJobsAcademy.
The academy launched in March 2022 with a $5 million grant to the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance’s Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training (LEO-E&T) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. LEO-E&T and WIN manage the effort in partnership with the Michigan Alliance for Greater Mobility Advancement. More than a dozen WIN staff and academy collaboration and project lead members completed certification training last summer in U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Talent Pipeline Management strategies.
“The automotive mobility and electrification industry provides once-in-a-lifetime career opportunities for Michiganders, and I encourage anyone interested in learning more about this evolving industry to connect with the EV Jobs Academy,” said Susan Corbin, LEO director and chair of its Michigan Council on Future Mobility. “Careers in this growing industry are not only building on the success of Michigan’s economic future, but they are also building and creating new opportunities and financial stability for Michigan’s hardworking people.”
“The EV Jobs Academy employer-led collaborative continues to evolve and grow with employer and stakeholder participation,” said WIN Executive Director Michele Economou Ureste. “This initiative is designed to provide opportunities for employers to communicate EV and mobility occupational skills needs and hiring projections directly to education and training providers for updates in curriculum.”
Job seekers tap in by completing an interest form in order to be contacted by an academy partner to learn more about resources, opportunities, tuition assistance, and support services to help ensure success. Registered apprenticeships can help some participants earn while they learn. Industry stakeholders including employers interested in supporting or joining the collaborative also are encouraged to visit the site and complete the form.
The academy’s more than 100 stakeholder partners represent automakers and suppliers, state and local governments, education and training, recruitment, defense, research, and more. In-demand careers include assemblers and fabricators, electrical engineers and technicians, information security analysts, information technology professionals, maintenance and repair workers, and software developers.
Among the academy’s educational partners is Monroe County Community College (MCCC), where EVs have been on the radar since the Southeast Michigan college was part of the National Science Foundation’s 2014 Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) grant. The Southeast Michigan college is developing EV curricula and increasing community awareness with a series of on-campus electric vehicle shows.
MCCC Electric Vehicle Awareness Coordinator Tom Adamich said the college’s participation in the academy “will allow students and citizens of Monroe County to access the initiative’s vast network of EV job development and training, community resources, and EV awareness that will be required for building the infrastructure – procurement, charging, maintenance – necessary to make EVs a viable part of the current and future Michigan and American transportation profile.”
View the full list of EV Jobs Academy partners on the academy’s webpage.