NJ community college adds electric vehicle training to curriculum
MIDDLETOWN — Every month, electric vehicles are increasing their share of the traffic on New Jersey's highways.
Responding to industry demand as well as statewide programs that aim to get more electric vehicles on the road, Brookdale Community College in Monmouth County has announced plans that should help to produce a workforce that's prepared to maintain and repair this advanced technology.
"The notion of a college having a program in electric vehicles, even the idea of it, is very new," said James Crowder, dean of BCC's STEM Institute.
All graduates of the automotive technology department will be versed in EV technology, BCC announced. And, beyond infusing EV technology into the curricula, BCC will create a stackable industry credential so that incumbent automotive professionals can add to their list of skills.
"We're going to be one of the only places in this part of the country, I would think, that would offer that credential," Crowder said.
With the help of federal funding, the department recently purchased a Chevy Spark that will be used in BCC labs and give students hands-on experience with the technology.
Crowder and a colleague, department chair Ivan Anderson, are also seeking a $600,000 grant to support the EV endeavors of the department.
New Jersey recently reinstated a program that offers financial incentives for the purpose of electric vehicles. More than 13,000 vehicles were subsidized by the first two rounds of the program.
As of June 2022, the number of electric vehicles registered in New Jersey was 80,583, according to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, compared to 64,307 six months prior.