New essential training for the EV workforce | News, Sports, Jobs


Increasingly, we hear from industry and economic development experts discussing the growing need for a prepared and well-trained workforce. Workforce readiness could approach a critical concern if workers are not trained to fill openings which, in our region, include the developing electric vehicle industry.

That’s why we were so pleased to see recently announced partnerships grow between Youngstown State University and Hon Hai Technology Group to establish a national workforce training and innovation center in the field of electric vehicles.

The former General Motors automobile assembly plant in Lordstown is now owned by Foxconn, otherwise known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

The new partnership between YSU and Foxconn aims to design and launch the center to help the emerging electric vehicle industry build and scale a sustainable workforce around advanced manufacturing, energy storage and other integrated technology solutions, such as artificial intelligence, 5G and cybersecurity.

The vision for the proposed center is to locate it in Lordstown, possibly on Foxconn’s automotive assembly campus.

Jennifer Oddo, executive director of Youngstown State University’s Division of Education and Workforce Innovation, understands the value of this partnership, as well as the urgency of its creation.

“What is important for our vision is that we want to do something quickly,” Oddo recently told our business reporter Ron Selak Jr. “We know the industry won’t wait and it needs talent now.”

“Now is the time to break down geographic and institutional silos to deliver workforce solutions that accelerate the ability of industry, academia, government and workforce organizations to come together and deploy resources and strategies more quickly to meet industry workforce needs,” YSU President Jim Tressel recently said.

We couldn’t agree more.

Additionally, we are pleased that the need to help grow the workforce is being recognized at all levels.

Eastern Gateway Community College has also been very committed and involved in preparing a local workforce for the large number of jobs expected.

Additionally, construction is underway at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center in Canfield for a workforce training facility.

During the groundbreaking ceremony for the new MCCTC Energy Center, which will train students in areas such as electric vehicles and other energy sources such as wind turbines and solar, Mahoning County Commissioner , Carol Rimedio-Righetti, said preparing our “children for this technology is the best thing we can do.”

We also agree with this assessment.

Kudos to everyone involved in these important partnerships and efforts to better prepare the workforce.

Indeed, our workers can never be too prepared for these developing high-tech jobs.

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