By Heart of Illinois ABC
NORMAL – Heartland Community College is a step closer to becoming a main training ground for workers making electric-powered vehicles at Rivian Automotive in Normal.
Gov. JB Pritzker was in the Twin-Cities late last month to announce Heartland is receiving a $7.5 million grant to develop a Electric Vehicle-Energy Storage Manufacturing Training Academy.
Tuesday evening, Heartland’s Board of Trustees approved creating a program in which students can earn an associate’s degree in electric vehicle technology for 60 credit hours, along with certificates requiring fewer credit hours in related fields, including vehicle service, maintenance and repair.
Trustees also hired an architectural firm to design space housing the training academy at Heartland’s Student Commons Building (SCB). The school is building an addition to the SCB, along with remodeling about 20,000 square feet of existing space at the SCB.
The academic program still requires approval from the Illinois Community College Board, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and the Higher Learning Commission. Classes are expected to be offered next fall.
Rivian plans to start production next month of electric-powered vehicles.
Heart of Illinois ABC can be reached at News@WJBC.com.