EV Workforce Project: Guaranteeing Access to Underserved and Marginalized Populations by Building Employment Opportunities (GUMBO)

November 14, 2023

Project to offer training to support growth in EV technician field

Virginia Clean Cities (VCC) has joined their counterpart Louisiana Clean Fuels and other partners to announce the launch of the GUMBO (Guaranteeing Access to Underserved and Marginalized Populations by Building Employment Opportunities) Workforce Development Initiative.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under the Vehicle Technologies Program Office, this groundbreaking collaboration aims to address the urgent need for skilled Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) installation and operations technicians. The initiative will support the growth of our nation’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure and will train Virginia residents to install, maintain and service electric vehicle charging equipment.

Through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, curriculum will be developed for the GUMBO workforce program as well as equipment purchases and instructors. Low-cost training for the public through the GUMBO Initiative will be available beginning Summer 2024. Technicians specializing in EVSE installation can anticipate earning between $40,000 to $65,000 per year.

The GUMBO Initiative concept was developed in response to the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program that will create a demand for EVSE installation, operations and maintenance technicians. New public DC fast chargers will be installed under the Commonwealth’s competitive grant program administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation and Development. The GUMBO initiative will be instrumental in ensuring the successful deployment of these NEVI funds across the country.

“Virginia Clean Cities is proud to join this innovative project that will assist our local workforce to be trained and ready to install the infrastructure needed to support the Commonwealth’s growing demand for electric vehicles,” said Alleyn Harned, VCC’s Executive Director. “This is our first federally supported workforce project, and this work is critically needed to our region.”

The GUMBO Project will leverage the expertise of education institutions, community partners and ChargerHelp to engage underrepresented and under-supported populations in skill-building, education and training. The EVSE installation and maintenance programs piloted in Virginia will serve as a model for communities nationwide, enabling individuals to earn high-demand credentials in the EV industry.

Key objectives of the GUMBO Initiative include:

·     Developing a free and easily accessible replication resource kit for educational institutions and community-based organizations, offering curriculum, best practices, webinars and access to a Peer-to-Peer network of professionals.

·     Making a free EVSE installation and operations curriculum replication resource kit publicly available on multiple platforms.

·     Compiling a comprehensive report tracking course completions, hiring statistics of students in the programs, and demographic information to quantify Justice40 statistics and measure program effectiveness.