Training Rhode Island’s Electrification Workforce
of the Future
Vehicle electrification not only improves air quality and reduces greenhouse gas emissions but it creates new, high quality jobs in the green economy. As more electric vehicles are deployed throughout the state, Rhode Island will need to develop and train a workforce that is able to service both the vehicles and their charging infrastructure. While community colleges across the country have developed vehicle technician training programs for conventional gasoline powered vehicles, relatively few have developed a full curriculum around electric vehicles, siting lack of funds, expertise, and access to specialized tools and electric vehicles to use within the classroom.
Rhode Island can lead the way in the green economy by bringing together key stakeholders from across the state—from vehicles technicians to community colleges to original equipment manufacturers—to develop training programs that provide a wide array of courses to fit the needs of both a well-established and growing workforce by offering both trainings designed for experienced technicians looking to gain electric vehicle expertise and for technicians looking to get into the workforce for the first time.
Apprenticeship and Outreach Program at the Community College of Rhode Island
The Community College of Rhode Island has an existing Electrical Apprenticeship Program. Funds from TCI-P could be used to expand this program to:
- include coursework specific to electric vehicle infrastructure deployment and other clean energy installations;
- develop materials and outreach to local high schools to build excitement among young future technicians; and
- expand offerings at the Westerly Education Center.
These programs could partner with key external stakeholders to build expertise and connections to future employers, such as General Dynamics (an existing partner at the WEC) and National Grid (who runs the Energy Utility Technology Certificate program at CCRI). This program would build on the Rhode Island Promise, under which all Rhode Islanders coming right out of high school are eligible to pursue associate degrees at CCRI tuition-free.
Millions of Americans miss getting medical care because of lack of transportation. RIPTA anticipates that their Transit Forward RI plan could increase elderly access to transportation by 10%, leading to improved health outcomes and enabling older residents within the state to live independently.