SME, a nonprofit that promotes adoption of new manufacturing technology, has expanded its offerings to include EV training programs and an EV Fundamentals certification.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the electrification of transport could create over 150,000 new jobs related to the production and maintenance of EVs.
SME obtained input from industrial and academic experts to develop a Body of Knowledge that encompasses the technologies, job roles, competencies and skills critical to the electrification industry.
“SME has undertaken extensive research into labor demands for EV manufacturing and electrification, including leveraging insights from industry leaders,” said Jeannine Kunz, SME’s Chief Workforce Development Officer. “Our collaboration with manufacturers, schools and workforce organizations will embed in-demand EV expertise and competencies into nationwide career development programs and technical education.”
Electrification-specific training covers such topics as lithium battery handling and safety, high-energy batteries, and EV components and manufacturing. The training, along with the certification, is designed to prepare students for a variety of job roles, including assembly technician, production associate, team assembler, manufacturing technician, battery pack assembler, quality control inspector, electric motor assembler and maintenance technician.
SME’s efforts to upskill workers for EV manufacturing has drawn support from several industry groups and state governments.
“As a partner with the SME Education Foundation on expanding the SME PRIME school network to at least 49 Michigan high schools by 2025, we excitedly anticipate the integration of the new curriculum and credentials into PRIME’s career pathways for students,” said John J. Walsh, CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association. “As the auto industry’s transition to electrification accelerates, the need for workers with EV-related skillsets is increasingly critical to Michigan’s leadership position in the automotive and mobility space.”
“The success we envision as a state in the electric vehicle industry hinges not only on cutting-edge technology but also, and even more crucially, on developing a skilled workforce,” said Brad Neese, VP, South Carolina Technical College System Division of Economic Development. “A talent pipeline that is skilled and ready to work serves as the driving force towards achieving our goals.”