LACONIA – Lakes Region Community College received $ 48,073 through the NH Department of Education’s Industry Recognized Degree Grants competition to further support skill development in its automotive technology program. With these funds, automotive technology students will benefit from additional hands-on learning opportunities through the purchase of an electric vehicle kit and a support program for this growing industry.
“With this grant, our students will now be able to build a fully functional electric and drivable vehicle from scratch using components and systems parallel to those used in modern production hybrid and electric vehicles,” said Jamie Decato, president and assistant of LRCC Transportation Technologies. professor. “The addition of this vehicle will strengthen our automotive technology program, providing students with skills in demand in a rapidly growing industry. “
The Grants Competition awards Perkins federal funds to applicants proposing projects aimed at increasing the number of KPIs obtained by learners. As defined by the NH DOE, IRCs are “the culmination of a learner’s mastery of skills that equip them for a productive career in a specific industry field,” and IRCs include certificates, licenses, badges and any other title attesting to the skills of a learner. capacity to potential employers.
With the grant, LRCC will purchase a legal three-wheeled electric car known as the Switch Glider from The Switch Lab based in California. The reusable kit is designed to be built, tested, piloted and then taken apart for the next course using the support curriculum. The Switch Glider will be used in the existing Advanced Technology course that is part of the Automotive Technology program. In addition, LRCC will collaborate with other colleges and vocational and technical education (CTE) programs to develop new courses leading to additional micro-degrees through IRCs.
“These grants will be beneficial in preparing students for college and for careers, and they will help support the industries and sectors that make up a large part of New Hampshire’s economy,” said Frank Edelblut, commissioner for the New Hampshire. NH education. “Professional training is critical to economic recovery because it helps students connect what they learn in the classroom with the outside world and workforce preparation. “
The objective of this project is to arouse the interest of learners to the idea of pursuing a career in this emerging market and to provide an opportunity to progress towards L3, the Advanced Level Hybrid / Electric Vehicle Specialist certification issued by the Institute. of Automotive Service Excellence. Currently, the only IRC available for hybrid / electric automotive professionals offered through ASE is the L3. The L3 is a sought-after certification and requires advanced training in electrical and motor performance which requires two years of work experience to earn.
“As a first step, we plan to organize a day for the UNH summer engineering ‘campers’ to visit LRCC to learn more about battery technology for electric vehicles and study efficiency. electric motors, ”Decato said.