WCC at Detroit Auto Show: Preparing students for future EV workforce

September 12, 2023 Fran LeFort

NAIAS 2022

Washtenaw Community College (WCC) will attend the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, highlighting education programs to prepare the workforce for the advancement of battery powered electric vehicles.

A leader among its peers in training students for mobility jobs of the future, WCC will be the only community college exhibiting at the Detroit Auto Show’s AutoMobili-D days on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, September 13-15. Automotive industry companies, members of the media and other attendees are invited to WCC’s booth (#429) on the main floor of the Huntington Place in downtown Detroit to visit with the college’s automotive and cybersecurity faculty members.

WCC is preparing to launch three new EV and related programs within the coming months and will participate in an EV Jobs Academy event, Energizing a Sustainable EV & Mobility Workforce Ecosystem, at the Auto Show on Thursday, September 14, from 1-4 p.m.

“With the rapidly advancing EV industry, WCC plays an important role in educating and training students for these new and emerging jobs. Our students, as well as the industry, rely on us to prepare a highly successful workforce for this evolving space,” said WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca.

WCC is pairing with industry and state agencies to lead the advancement of Michigan’s EV ecosystem with two new EV programs – an Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installation Program and a Maintenance & EV Battery Technician Program – as well as a new Semiconductor Technician Training Program to support battery electric vehicles.

The charging station installation and maintenance program are expected to launch in the spring, and the battery technician and semiconductor programs will launch in the Fall of 2024. As part of these new programs the college will build out a new battery lab and EV charging station training space.

WCC is partnering with KLA, imec, General Motors and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on an initiative to advance the electrification of vehicles in the state. The college’s program will prepare workers for emerging jobs that will produce semiconductor chips.

In addition to promoting its forthcoming new programs at the Auto Show, WCC will show off its Ford Mustang Mach-E and demonstrate its automotive cybersecurity curriculum through its Umlaut workbenches identical to those used in industry.

The college, located about 30 miles from Detroit, has long partnered closely with business and industry to understand workforce needs and develop programs to prepare students for automotive careers.

At any given time the college enrolls 1,000 students in more than 60 automotive and cybersecurity technology career pathways and courses for skill-building and job training.

Since 2017, WCC has been the only community college participating in the University of Michigan-led Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT), funded by a federal grant which was recently renewed for five years. WCC’s role in the consortium is to apply the research and knowledge gained from this partnership in the classroom.

In 2020 the college was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The college offers a Cybersecurity Associate Degree, an Automotive Cybersecurity Certificate and other cyber certificates, in addition to transportation technologies programs.


Tags: EV, North America International Auto Show, Semiconductor, Workforce Development

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