Weber State Expands Efforts to Train Electric Vehicle Mechanics | News, Sports, Jobs

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From left to right, Kaleb Stephens, Gavin Myers and Timothy Schaefermeyer inspect part of the technology and machinery in the automotive technology department at Weber State University in Layton. On Friday, September 17, 2021, officials announced plans to strengthen the department’s program focused on electric vehicles.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

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Scott Hadzik, chairman of the Weber State Automotive Technology Department, addresses a crowd of Weber State faculty, students and community members who gathered for the launch of the Automotive Strategic Workforce Initiative on the University’s Davis campus in Layton on Friday, September 17, 2021.

Photo provided, Benjamin Zack / Weber State University

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Weber State University instructor Blair Newbold, right, shows Roy High School students the electric vehicle garage during the launch of the Automotive Strategic Workforce Initiative at the university’s Davis campus in Layton on Friday September 17, 2021. The program is designed to prepare students to work on electric vehicles.

Photo provided, Benjamin Zack / Weber State University

LAYTON – As the world moves more towards electric vehicles, more and more technicians with the specialized know-how to maintain them will be needed.

As it stands, they’re rare, but a new initiative led by Weber State University’s automotive technology department aims to create a pool of skilled workers in the industry who can fill the void. It highlights yet another facet of the expected growth of green jobs and opportunities for future job seekers.

“There is just a shortage of electrical technicians,” said Jennifer Vesper, outreach coordinator for the automotive technology department. “It’s not a dead end career. It is a career in which they can move forward.

Weber State has received approximately $ 300,000 in state grants to support the initiative, called the Automotive Strategic Workforce Initiative, said Scott Hadzik, chairman of the automotive technology department. The money will be used to acquire new electric cars to help train students and to strengthen automotive technology offerings at the high school level.

Hadzik plans to raise awareness among students in the Ogden, Weber and Davis school districts, which feed the Weber State system and other tech colleges in the area. Eventually, he predicts that efforts, now focused in northern Utah, will extend further south.

“Every automaker now offers electric vehicles,” said John Kelly, professor of automotive technology in the Weber State program. “It’s just going to explode, the need for this type of training.”

Mechanics used to repairing gasoline-powered vehicles might be more reluctant to switch to electric vehicles, Hadzik said. Mechanics “in the making”, he continued, “will be the ones who adopt” the necessary specialized training.

Nearly 100 new electric vehicle models will debut in the United States by the end of 2024, Weber State said in a press release. Additionally, President Joe Biden called for electric vehicle sales to account for half of all new car sales by 2030.

Partners in the initiative – which kicks off on Friday at the Department of Automotive Technology’s Layton campus – also include Ogden-Weber Technical College, Davis Technical College, Salt Lake Community College and College Bridgerland technique at Logan. Weber state officials were on hand at Friday’s ceremony along with elected officials from the region and representatives from several car dealerships in the region, where more and more electric car technicians will be needed.

“The electric side is a huge, huge thing,” said Scott Wadman, service manager at Young Kia in Layton, one of the many dealerships represented.

Electric motors are very different from gasoline engines. Specialized training in the Weber State program focuses on teaching electric motor operation, troubleshooting and troubleshooting, and safety.

Among those in attendance at Friday’s ceremony were students from area high schools, who toured the facilities of the Department of Automotive Technology. The facilities house many electric and hybrid vehicles as well as the tools and equipment necessary for their maintenance.

Kaleb Stephens, a sophomore at the Northern Utah Academy for Math, Engineering and Science, a program at Weber State High School, was in attendance.

“Just to see this stuff, it’s totally worth it,” he said. “Seeing the new technology is amazing. “

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