skip to main content
Heartland mobile logo

First students graduate from HCC-Rivian technical trades program

August 2, 2022

The first cohort of students in a Heartland Community College training program for existing employees of Rivian Automotive has graduated. 

This technical trades program, with a focus electric vehicle service and light repair, is a training partnership between Heartland Community College and Rivian Automotive LLC, designed to upscale the talents of current Rivian employees into high-demand jobs. 

Employees who qualified for the program studied for their EV Energy Storage Certificate, EV Maintenance and Light Repair Certificate, and High Voltage Battery Technology Micro-Certificate in Heartland’s EV Training program while still working at the automotive company.

“Heartland certification programs are designed to help individuals get a start, and also help those already in the workforce upskill and move forward in their career,” said Heartland Community College President Keith Cornille. “Stackable credits allow students to not only get the skills they need now, such as with these Rivian employees, but also utilize those credits if their path calls for a full degree.”  

Eight students graduated this summer in the inaugural cohort and will continue their full-time employment in upskilled roles, accepting positions at the Rivian production facility or at service centers around the country. 

“I thought I had missed the opportunity to go to college after high school, but now feel so grateful Rivian gave me the opportunity to complete this training and get college credit at the same time,” said Levi Hankins, one of the students graduating in the first cohort. “I never knew what I wanted to go back to school for, but I knew I wanted to go back. The program has been very beneficial. The teachers have made the difference. They have made it so easy to learn.” 

The program is aimed at employees with three months to three years of experience at Rivian. Upon completion of the program, students have the skills and qualifications to become entry level technicians at Rivian. 

“It’s extremely rewarding as an instructor to change people’s lives by introducing students to a career they didn’t have an opportunity to learn about otherwise,” said Ted Foos, a Rivian employee who works as a Heartland EV curriculum consultant. “At the Heartland facility, students get to work with the equipment they will see in the field.” 

Heartland Community College offers an Electric Vehicle Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree as well as certification programs for Electric Vehicle Maintenance and Light Repair, Electric Vehicle Energy Storage, Electric Vehicle Technology and Electric Vehicle Service Advisor.

Written by: Steve Fast