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Unique New Program Trains Technicians in EV Charging Stations

RALEIGH, N.C. (May 3, 2024) – There's an exciting new career opportunity in the fast-growing field of electric vehicles. Wake Tech is leading a statewide pilot program to train technicians in the installation and maintenance of EV charging stations.

The college will launch the first EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) Field Technician Certificate course in June, with the goal of replicating it across North Carolina. The accelerated six-week, non-degree course will be a hybrid of online and hands-on instruction. This is the first program of its kind in the country.

"We're pleased and proud to be leading the way in this emerging industry," said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls, "As the state's largest community college, we're doing what North Carolina community colleges do best: evolve and adapt to meet the changing training needs of students, as well as business and industry."

The EVSE Field Technician Certificate course is made possible by the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) and funded through the Siemens Foundation's EVeryone Charging Forward Initiative. The Siemens program was created in response to the rapid growth of the EV charging sector resulting in significant demand for skilled workers across the industry. This workforce development initiative seeks to ensure and scale equitable access to jobs for individuals from all backgrounds and meaningfully participate in this new sector.

"North Carolina has experienced dramatic job growth in the battery and EV sector and continues to lead the way toward a clean energy future," said Caroline Sullivan, NCBCE executive director. "The funding from the Siemens Foundation, coupled with the expertise and innovation at Wake Tech, will help ensure that all communities can pursue critical clean energy jobs across our state."

Wake Tech recently announced that it received a $636,128 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop North Carolina's first electric vehicle courses and an EV certificate within the Automotive Systems Technology degree program. The college had already been incorporating EV instruction, thanks to nearly $1 million in federal Community Project funds the college received last year.

The EVSE Field Technician Certificate course will combine an introduction to electrical systems and electric vehicles, including codes, standards and regulations; electrical energy fundamentals; electric vehicles and batteries; charging stations; commissioning; and maintenance. Students will learn electrical safety, charging station configuration and specification, communication systems, site inspection, troubleshooting and repair.

Public demand for cleaner and more efficient electric vehicles is evidenced by rapidly growing demand nationally, and, in North Carolina, that demand is outpacing initial expectations. Just recently, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that the state surpassed his original registration goals outlined in Executive Order 80 – 80,000 zero-emission vehicles by 2025 – more than two years ahead of schedule. As of February 2024, this number is over 88,000. Thousands of electric vehicle chargers have already been installed across the state, with installations increasing daily as public and private partners respond to this rapidly growing demand.

Large manufacturing investments in the state from companies like Vinfast and Toyota supporting this growing EV industry showcase the potential for new employment opportunities. As more electric vehicles are purchased, employment opportunities in the industry are expected to continue to grow.

Students entering the EVSE Field Technician course will be required to have experience with electrical wiring. Those who successfully complete the course will receive a Wake Tech certificate and be prepared to sit for EVSE Field Technician credentialing through the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

For more information, visit transportation.waketech.edu.

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April 2024

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