Silicon Valley Electric Vehicle Initiative:
Creating the Talent Pipeline
The electric vehicle industry is a significant emerging cluster, especially here in the Bay Area, that promises to bring many new jobs to this community with higher wages. In June, NOVA was awarded a new State grant of $200,000 to continue the work of the Silicon Valley Electric Vehicle Opportunity Initiative (EVOI), launched in 2013, and enhance a talent pipeline of workers to fill the growing jobs in the electric vehicle industries. The project will entail convening a series of industry skill panels with transportation industry employers and then sharing the information gleaned from these panels with educators to ensure that curricula are in alignment with industry demand. EVOI encompasses a broad range of collaborative partners that include: Bay Area Climate Collaborative, work2future Workforce Board, electric vehicle industry employers, educators, labor organizations, and many other community stakeholders. In addition to the partners already collaborating on EVOI, NOVA will be working with Prospect Silicon Valley, a San Jose-based incubator of emerging clean tech transportation companies that will serve as the industry intermediary for this venture.
In 2013, NOVA began the multi-year Silicon Valley Electric Vehicle Opportunity Initiative, funded by the California Energy Commission and California Workforce Development Board, to promote the deployment of electric vehicles in the region and prepare the workforce for jobs in this growing industry. In 2014, an employer forum was convened to assess the needs of the electric vehicle industry, with a final report produced by BW Research Partnership and Economic Advancement Research Institute that contained a blueprint for advancing this sector. One of the recommendations that came out of this forum was the need for more electric vehicle charging stations, particularly in multi-unit dwellings where residents have had difficulty accessing charging infrastructure. In response, EVOI hosted a community roundtable on electric vehicle infrastructure growth and convened and surveyed an advisory group of apartment owners that resulted in an April 2015 report of recommendations produced by LightMoves and EV Charging Pros consultancies. A toolkit was also distributed to apartment owners to use in navigating the requirements necessary for installing electric charging stations for their tenants.
With this recent grant award, the work of EVOI will continue with a focus on workforce talent development for this growing electric vehicle industry cluster.