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Heartland Community College

Heartland awarded $525K grant for EV programs

January 22, 2024

Heartland Community College has been awarded $525,000 to help the development of Electric Vehicle-related programs. 

The funding is part of a $9.4 Million awarded to 25 Illinois community colleges by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), through the Rev Up EV! Community College Initiative. 

The Initiative is designed to support the state’s growing Electric Vehicle (EV) industry through job training and technology development programs. Funding from this grant will go toward expanding Heartland’s EV Technology offerings to include medium-duty and heavy-duty EV Technology and EV Infrastructure courses and certificates. 

Heartland’s Electric Vehicle program, launched in August of 2021, currently offers an associate in applied science degree in Electric Vehicle Technology as well as stackable certificates that include EV Technology, EV Maintenance and Light Repair, EV Energy Storage, EV Service Advisor. 

“The advanced manufacturing workforce has evolved into a place of technology and specialized skill,” said Heartland Community College President Keith Cornille. “With the rise of the EV technology, as well as robotics, automation, and more, it is imperative to expand educational pathways to give students the knowledge and training to fit the needs of these industries.” 

The competitive Rev Up EV! grant program is intended to support the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act which established Illinois policy to equitably transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. To support the growth of electric vehicles and critical infrastructure for deployment, maintenance, and support, Illinois needs adequate training programs producing more talent in EV priority program areas. 

Grantees are required to participate in the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) led IL EV Network, an industry collaborative of key stakeholders from industry, higher education (faculty, staff, two-year and four-year), and state agencies to guide the expansion of light and heavy-duty Electric Vehicle training that satisfies industry demand for high-skill individuals. 

“We are excited to work with these outstanding community colleges to discuss critical industry trends, talent needs in high-priority roles, systemwide strategies, barriers, solutions, and opportunities for collaboration to expand the EV-related advanced manufacturing workforce in Illinois,” said David Husemoller, executive director of IGEN. 

This February, Heartland celebrates the opening of the new Advanced Manufacturing Center at the Main Campus in Normal. The 45,000 square foot facility includes the State Farm EV Lab. Construction of the facility was partially funded by a $7.5M Rebuild Illinois grant as well as $1M from the State Farm Companies Foundation. 

Electric vehicle sales have jumped significantly in the last year, up 14 percent in 2022, more than 10 times their share in 2017.

Written by: Steve Fast