Parkland prepares future automotive technicians for an electric vehicle future | Company
CHAMPAIGN — With the use of electric vehicles poised to expand, Parkland College is preparing future automotive technicians to be ready.
Parkland’s automotive training program has purchased a new Mustang Mach E electric SUV, which will be used to give students hands-on technical experience, according to David Charney, Ford ASSET (Automotive Student Service Education Training) program manager at Parkland.
The launch of this additional training is significant as many major manufacturers have committed to going electric for the majority of their fleets by 2030 to 2035, and students need to be prepared for current and future automotive needs. industry, Charney said.
“That’s not a lot of time,” he said.
According to KPMG’s 22nd annual survey of the global automotive industry last year, executives expect dramatic growth in EV market share, but there is no consensus on market share that electric vehicles will pick up.
While electric and hybrid vehicle training is not limited to Ford ASSET students, ASSET students will particularly benefit from the availability of the new vehicle, according to Parkland.
These students will be able to obtain additional Ford certifications in hybrid and electric vehicles.
The ASSET program is a two-year Ford technical career entry program that includes a paid internship, with students graduating with an associate’s degree and ready to enter the workforce with certifications from Ford.
Parkland will have 24 students in that program for the fall semester, Charney said.
Each student in the ASSET program is sponsored by a Ford dealership and spends eight weeks learning at Parkland and eight weeks at their sponsoring dealerships on a rotating basis throughout the two years, he said.
The coming semester will be the first time that true all-electric/hybrid technology will be implemented in classes, Charney said.
When graduates are fully certified, those working in a big city, like Indianapolis, can start earning $25 to $30 an hour, he said, and newly certified graduates working in rural areas of Illinois can start making around $20 an hour.
Parkland used a Perkins grant to purchase the Mach E from Shields Auto Centre, Rantoul.
In addition to gaining experience with the characteristics of a battery electric vehicle and learning how to safely remove and replace high voltage batteries, students will use new types of training aids based on virtual reality software, according to Parkland.