Electrify America is investing over $1.6 million in funding to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and workforce development programs, projects, ideas, concepts and related sponsorships to help promote zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), ZEV technology and ZEV infrastructure. The investment will award four organizations funds to develop and launch educational and training programs to support K-12 and community college students as well as workers through vocational training in California and across the country.
This initiative builds on the company’s ongoing support for brand-neutral electric vehicle education and awareness across the U.S. These STEM and worker training programs will specifically address the need to educate students on EVs through new curriculum, as well as provide on-the-job vocational training that will be critical to developing a workforce of future engineers, software developers, battery technicians, energy management specialists, construction managers and a wide variety of additional jobs that the industry will have a strong need for as it continues to grow.
“Investing in science, technology, engineering and math programs will not only educate students and workers about electric vehicles, but it will help prepare them for the countless career opportunities that exist in the vast EV ecosystem,” said Will Berry, corporate social responsibility manager, Electrify America. “The electric vehicle and charging infrastructure industries need a workforce rooted in a strong STEM foundation, and we’re helping support future career development by teaching and training students about these types of jobs.”
Through an open and rigorous request for proposal process of more than a dozen applicants, Electrify America has awarded funding to four organizations who specialize in STEM and EV education:
– Ecology Action
– Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
– The National Energy Foundation
– Valley Clean Air Now
These STEM programs will build on Electrify America’s previous multi-million dollar investments with numerous California-based community and diversity-focused organizations, as well as growing education and infrastructure investments in low income, disadvantaged communities, and rural areas. Investment in community-based organizations remains a strong component of the company’s broader commitment to educating all Americans on the benefits of driving electric.
“Challenging students to learn about the benefits of emissions-free technology with curriculum and vocational training will help drive the transition to an electric transportation future,” said Berry. “Electrify America’s investment in STEM complements our ongoing support for communities across California and the nation.”
A focus on equity remains a cornerstone in all decision-making processes at Electrify America, with emphasis on investing in programs that reach diverse, low-income and disadvantaged communities. In 2019 Electrify America invested a total of $82.4 million in these California communities by providing education, access, charging infrastructure and services to promote ZEV driving, including $10 million in education and marketing.
The four organizations that will be supporting STEM and workforce development activities through Electrify America’s investment will develop programs that target students nationally or in California. Additional information on the selected organizations and the campaigns that Electrify America will support, including quotes from each program leader, includes:
– Ecology Action: Ecology Action, a California-based environmental non-profit, is partnering with Fused Learning, LLC, a California leader in STEM education, to promote awareness of and deliver STEM education about the long-term adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV), ZEV technology, and ZEV infrastructure. Their initiative will focus on reaching students in grades 4 – 8 through their ZEV Future for All https://ecoact.org/about-us/community-engagement/electric-vehicles
– The National Energy Foundation (NEF): NEF will develop a national STEM program (excluding California) promoting EV adoption that focuses on grades K – 12, community college and vocational training through virtual or live presentations, student challenges, curriculum development, post-secondary webinars and expansion of its “rEV’ program around EV education. NEF is a unique 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to increasing energy literacy through the development, distribution and implementation of educational materials and programs related to energy, natural resources, energy efficiency, energy safety and the environment. https://nef1.org
– Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI): LACI will focus on STEM education in California through workforce development, vocational training, and Zero-Emissions Mobility and Community Pilot Project programs, with specific emphasis on training and certifying workers for electric vehicle (EV) charging station repair and additional EV industry jobs. LACI’s approach to transportation electrification workforce development is unique because it offers participants hands-on access to LACI’s state-of-the-art Advanced Prototyping Center (APC) facilities with expertise in Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI) and Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), and convenes their portfolio company employers to provide a seamless employment transition for graduates of their workforce development programs. https://laincubator.org
– Valley Clean Air Now (VCAN):VCAN will reach community college automotive students through curriculum and vocational training, partnering with the California New Car Dealers Association and Bakersfield College to help set up a future of new “green collar” careers in the EV industry, specifically for low-income and disadvantaged communities. VCAN is a 501(c)(3) public charity committed to quantifiably reducing air emissions in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the region with the worst air quality in the United States. https://valleycan.org