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Parkland College Wins State Grant for Electric Vehicle Industry Training
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Parkland College Wins State Grant for Electric Vehicle Industry Training

ICCB has named Parkland College among colleges slated to receive grant for development in the electric vehicle (EV) industry.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has named Parkland College among 25 community colleges slated to receive part of a $9.4 million grant for job training and technology development in the electric vehicle (EV) industry.

Announcing its Rev Up EV! Community College Initiative grant recipients Wednesday, the ICCB reported that 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 priority focus on programs and training in areas that are most in demand by EV businesses and industry partners.

Parkland's Ford ASSET Parkland College Electric Vehicleprogram has been training students on a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle since 2022. The grant will allow the college to expand its Automotive Technology curricula to match current standards for additional EV makes and models, according to David Charney, Ford ASSET program director.

ICCB Executive Director Brian Durham said thanks to the initiative, Illinois is at the forefront of change to vehicle electrification and continues to attract new EV industry companies.

"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,” Durham said.

The competitive grant program is intended to support the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act which established Illinois policy to equitably transition to 100 percent 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.

Grantees are required to participate in the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) led IL EV Network, an industry collaborative of key stakeholders from industry, higher education (faculty, staff, two-year and four-year), and state agencies to guide the expansion of light and heavy-duty Electric Vehicle training that satisfies industry demand for high-skill individuals.

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

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