Reporter’s notebook

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  • Florida college to establish National Electric Vehicle Consortium
  • Colorado college recognized for efforts to address student hunger
  • House hearing on DOL priorities

Florida college to establish National Electric Vehicle Consortium

Indian River State College (IRSC) will use a three-year, $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a National Electric Vehicle Consortium (NEVC) to help alleviate the shortage of skilled technical workers across almost every sector of the fast-growing electric vehicle industry.

According to the college, the consortium will focus on manufacturing, installation, operations, maintenance, repair, vehicle conversion, safety and standards, and emerging technological advances within the EV sector. IRSC will lead efforts that link academic, agency, and industry experts across all EV disciplines, including 15 community colleges, 19 industry partners, two research universities, and NSF Advanced Technical Education Centers and projects.

Workforce projections estimate that the all-EV industry will add 250,000 to 500,000 new high-paying jobs by 2030. Last month, a subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on the workforce needs of the EV industry.

IRSC says the new consortium, which launches on July 1, will offer a venue for collaboration among training providers to support broad-scale outreach and community-building among educational institutions; industry, professional, trade and regulatory associations; educators; and practicing technicians within the EV ecosystem. It will:

  • Document workforce needs, skills and competencies.
  • Collect data on academic programs and curricular resources.
  • Align academic programs and courses with the industry sector needs.
  • Support institutions of higher education in adapting and establishing new EV programs.

“This synergistic EV Consortium is designed with national solutions in mind,” says Kevin Cooper, IRSC executive director of innovation and business development. “It creates the first critical mass of experts focused on addressing the need for EV technicians in the U.S.”

Colorado college recognized for efforts to address student hunger

Aims Community College was recently named a Hunger Free Campus by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE). It joins Pueblo Community College, which received the designation earlier this year.

The designation is a statewide recognition for institutions that demonstrate a collective effort across students, staff, faculty and community to raise awareness and assistance for student food insecurity. To receive the designation, Aims fulfilled criteria on the CDHE’s Hunger Free Campus Checklist, which includes offering programs that provide direct food assistance, educational initiatives about hunger, and services that address barriers to basic needs that impact student food security.

Some initiatives that Aims has implemented include a monthly on-campus visit from the Weld Food Bank Farms to Families fresh food truck, cooking demonstrations and nutrition workshops. This spring, a group began planning an on-campus community garden. One of the most substantial ways Aims has addressed student hunger is through Arty’s Pantry, an on-campus food and supply pantry. Since 2018, the pantry has served more than 860 students in more than 4,600 visits.

House hearing on DOL priorities

The House Education and Labor Committee on June 14 will hold a hearing on the U.S. Labor Department’s policies and priorities, as outlined in the president’s fiscal 2023 budget proposal. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is expected to testify. Last month, he gave a similar outline before House appropriators.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.