Brookdale Community College announced it has received a grant totaling $561,318 from the National Science Foundation to pioneer the Electric Vehicle Education for New Jersey (EVE-NJ) project. Scheduled to commence on July 1, 2024, this transformative initiative will reshape automotive education in the state by integrating Electric Vehicle (EV) technology into its curriculum.

Led by Professor Ivan Anderson, Chair of the Automotive Technology (AT) department, and Dr. James Crowder, Dean of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Institute, the EVE-NJ project will address the growing demand for skilled automotive technicians proficient in EV repair and maintenance. As the automotive industry rapidly transitions towards electric vehicles, this grant represents a pivotal investment in preparing the workforce for the future.

Commenting on the significance of the initiative, Ivan Anderson stated, “EVE-NJ will not only bridge the existing knowledge gap in New Jersey’s automotive education but also fuel the state’s economic growth by supplying highly trained EV technicians.”

The grant will facilitate revising eight courses within Brookdale’s Automotive Technology degree and certificate programs to integrate EV governing standards. Moreover, a five-course stackable certificate in EV service and repair will be developed, offering foundational and advanced training opportunities. These programs will be designed to align with local industry needs, ensuring graduates possess the skills employers demand.

Dr. Crowder emphasized Brookdale’s pioneering role, stating, “As the first community college in New Jersey to integrate EV technology into our curriculum, Brookdale is leading the way in preparing the next generation of automotive technicians.”

Diversity and inclusivity will be central to EVE-NJ’s mission within the automotive industry. Initiatives will be launched to recruit and retain women in Brookdale’s Automotive Technology programs through tailored events, workshops, and conferences. Additionally, partnerships will be forged with industry stakeholders like Amazing Women in Automotive, New Jersey Business & Industry Association, FutureTech, Electrified Transportation Pro (EVPRO+), and more to establish internships and employment pathways.

In addition, Elizabeth Kruse, Freehold, a graduate of the Automotive Technology program at Brookdale and a successful automotive technician in the local community for the last six years, has agreed to be part of this initiative. She said, “I would be honored to be a part of the Electric Vehicle Education in New Jersey. I know that I have the right background and skills to engage in outreach and recruitment activities with local high schools in pursuit of increasing the number of women in the Brookdale AT program, mentoring our female AT students, and leading a chapter of Amazing Women in Automotive at the Brookdale campus. I would also welcome being a member of Brookdale’s Electric Vehicle Advisory Board and the opportunity to help assure that our AT and EV curricula are welcoming to and inclusive of females.”

Brookdale Community College boasts the highest enrollment in its Automotive Technology department among all community colleges in the state, currently serving nearly 200 full-time and part-time automotive students. The college is renowned for its state-of-the-art facilities and commitment to excellence in automotive education. It is highly rated by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), and all programs and instructors are certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

By 2030, the nationwide adoption of electric vehicles and trucks is projected to surge twentyfold, encompassing 40% of the automotive market. With electric vehicles poised to become the future of the entire automotive industry by 2040, the trajectory toward sustainable transportation is undeniable. In response, major U.S. automakers are investing billions of dollars in the design and manufacture of electric vehicles, with General Motors leading the charge with a $35 billion commitment by 2025. The impact is tangible, as evidenced by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reporting 123,551 registered electric vehicles in the state as of June 2023, more than doubling from the previous year.

With electric vehicle adoption projected to skyrocket nationwide, Brookdale’s EVE-NJ project will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the automotive industry, positioning New Jersey at the forefront of EV technology integration.

For more information about the EVE-NJ project and Brookdale Community College’s Automotive Technology programs, visit Brookdale Community College’s website.