The U.S. Department of Labor has granted $2 million to the Region 4 Workforce Board to support the Regional Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Partnership (REV). This initiative aims to provide training and support for individuals seeking employment in the electric vehicle (EV) market, particularly in constructing the first EV battery manufacturing plant in Kokomo. The REV program, involving workforce boards, economic development officials, academic institutions, labor groups, and businesses like StarPlus Energy (a joint venture of Stellantis and Samsung SDI), will focus on skilling up unemployed or underemployed individuals for well-paying jobs in the EV industry. The grant is seen as the initial step, with more funding needed to support the expected hiring of 2,800 people for the Kokomo plants and additional facilities in the region. The Region 4 Workforce Board covers various counties in Indiana, providing workforce development services.
‘”The growth is going to be amazing as we transition to these electric vehicles, and it’s a new set of skills,” [Region 4 Board Chief Operations Officer Deb] Waymire said. “And so that’s our job in workforce development is to ensure people do have the right skills to be able to take advantage of these good paying jobs and this type of a career pathway…Although $2 million sounds like a lot when we want to help skill up 700 people, and yet, in Kokomo itself, they’re looking to hire 2,400 to 3,200 people over the next few years, it’s going to take additional funding to help skill up all those individuals,” she said.’