With GM’s plan to invest $760 million in electrical manufacturing, the school wants to make sure its students can get in on the ground floor.
TOLEDO, Ohio — General Motors announced last Friday that it will invest $760 million in its Toledo Propulsions Systems plant on Alexis Road to produce drive units for electric vehicles.
The goal is to put Toledo on the path to a future in electric vehicle manufacturing.
Local trade schools, like the Toledo Technology Academy of Engineering, are adapting to prepare their students for the emerging industry.
While the school had electric vehicle clubs for 20 years, now they focus more on technology than ever and ensure that their curriculum gives their students hands-on learning to get started in the evolving Toledo market. , such as inside the school’s engineering and technology wing.
Inside the large workshop, a group of busy seniors are working on their latest project: a robotic arm.
The school emphasizes that students are comfortable working with electronics and electrical manufacturing. Vice-Principal David Volk said the school’s mission is to keep abreast of the needs of a future workforce.
“It was only natural for us to develop this,” Volk said. “It’s going to make it even more relevant for us to have a trained workforce that knows everything about electric vehicles.”
And that kind of learning happens in other areas, like the school’s automotive engineering club. Students take gas-powered vehicles and equip them with electric batteries. Senior Drew Baumgartner said it gives students like him valuable hands-on experience in electric vehicles.
“You don’t get that in a normal high school, or even half of that,” Baumgartner said.
The school recently received a $1.2 million federal grant specifically for teaching electric vehicles. It will be used to revamp an entire section of their building to focus exclusively on manufacturing electric vehicles. Senior Jacob Havlind won’t be at the academy when he’s ready, but said he’s excited about the new chapter regardless.
“It’s exciting to know that more kids will learn about electric vehicles and how they work and that awareness will spread about electric vehicles because they are the future,” Havlind said.
Volk said he expects the school’s new wing to open in 2024 at the earliest.
The academy also has plans for more electric vehicle programming starting this year, details of which will be unveiled at the school’s open house on October 6.
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