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Tennessee College Secures EV Program Grant

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June 1, 2022—A community college in northeastern Tennessee has received a nearly $350,000 grant to add EV-specific curriculum to its current automotive programming.

According to a report from the Kingsport Times-News, Northeast State has received $349,340 from the National Science Foundation. The grant is funded by the foundation's advanced tech program "that focuses on training in advanced technology fields that drive the nation’s economy."

The college will work closely with partners throughout the industry to develop and deploy a curriculum to train techs "to meet employment needs statewide and beyond." 

“We’re bringing together smart people in the EV world to standardize knowledge across fields and the nation,” Dr. Kevin Cooper, principal investigator of the National Electric Vehicle Consortium, said per the report. “We want to identify gaps and ensure that all programs are sustainable for the long term.”

Through the grant, the college will become a part of the NEVC. According to NSF data cited by the report, "there is an immediate shortage of skilled workers" in just about every sector of the EV industry, and the EV sector will create up to 500,000 jobs by the end of the decade.

The program will have an emphasis on diverse recruiting, focusing specifically on finding and recruiting female students.

“We are thrilled with the NSF grant and the confidence shown in Northeast State to provide workforce development in the emerging electric vehicle industry,” Dr. Donna Farrell, dean of technologies at Northeast State, said in the report. “We look forward to the challenge of integrating EV technology into our already successful Automotive Technology programs.”

Tennessee has become a hub for electric vehicle manufacturing over the last year. According to data from Tennessee's economic department cited by the report, more than 162,000 EVs have been manufactured since 2013.

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