Hyundai will partner with Savannah Technical College to develop a new electric vehicle (EV) training program to give students a shot at being hired on with the automaker.
The OEM announced Wednesday that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Georgia school for a training partnership.
“Everything we do at Savannah Technical College is about workforce development for our region,” said Kathy Love, college president. “We are proud to partner with [Hyundai] to help train their workforce. We appreciate their input to develop this short-term, specialized training certificate.”
The certificate was designed at Hyundai’s request to help students prepare for entry-level roles in EV production. Training will focus on “safe and effective automotive shop operations, automotive electrical principles, and operation and service of electric and hybrid vehicles,” the OEM said in a press release.
It said once graduates complete the course, they’ll have the skills to work in sub-assembly shops building components, and at production facilities participating in the EV manufacturing process.
It’s not unreasonable to assume graduates could create a greater employee base for all automotive businesses outside of Hyundai, such as collision repairers in the area. The colleges graduates are trained to work in both auto service and collision repair. In the past other automakers have partnered with skills and governments to boost a region’s skilled worker pool.
The announcements highlight the need for more skilled workers within the EV space, including within the collision repair sector.
The Central Florida Auto Dealers Association (CFADA) recently made the case for more public funding to support growing the EV workforce. Earlier this month, its request for state funding to develop the necessary talent was rejected.
In its application to the state, CFADA cited a statistic showing there are more than 70,000 unfilled positions for gas-powered vehicle techs; it also pointed to a projection indicating more than half of new vehicle sales will be EVs by 2028.
“In 5 years, there will be 9 million EVs on the road,” the application said. “We need to build the talent pipeline of EV techs to service these vehicles.”
The association’s president, Evelyn Cardenas, told Repairer Driven News that the time to prepare for EV growth is now.
“If we do not get ahead of this now, the required workforce is not going to be there,” Cardenas said. “Our industry is rapidly changing. The growth in alternative fuels is exciting. As some industries contract, there is an opportunity to offer high-skilled wage careers in other industries such as ours.”
The eight-hour course being offered at Savannah Technical College includes three courses:
- Automotive technology introduction;
- Automotive electrical principles; and
- Introduction to EV/hybrid vehicles and safety protocols.
Efforts are also underway elsewhere to help meet the need for automotive specialists and collision repair technicians. Last month, Hillyard Technical Center in St. Joseph, Missouri held a signing ceremony for its apprenticeship program students, which gives high school students the skills they need to pursue careers in trades such as collision repair.
Candidates for Savannah Technical College’s program must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify, and can apply for it online. Learn more about Hillyard Technical College’s apprenticeship program here.
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