Capital Region BOCES Students Prepare for Electric Car Repair Training

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A new pilot program to train auto technicians in electric car technology received a valuable donation on Tuesday when BOCES in the capital region received an electric car to help students train.

The New York Power Authority donated a retired electric vehicle to BOCES Career & Technical School in Albany to help students develop the skills they need to work in the clean energy industry.

“The number of enrollments in automotive schools nationwide is in free fall. This is a great opportunity to foster workforce development among our youth, especially in disadvantaged communities, ”said Lisa Payne Wansley, vice president of environmental justice at the Power Authority. “This is a game-changer and will help level the playing field for teens in the Capital region. ”

To launch the program, the electric authority donated three retired electric vehicles to automotive engineering establishments in the northern region of the state. With the BOCES Région Capitale, The BOCES d’Orléans-Niagara in Medina in the Finger Lakes and the BOCES Saint-Laurent in Canton each received a vehicle.

The Capital Region’s BOCES Automotive Trades Technology Program is divided into four classes with approximately 80 students in total. The program lasts two years and students acquire skills in engine theory, hybrid vehicle technology, practical mechanics and customer service. Students can also earn specialist certifications within the program.

Jonathan Kempadoo, a student at the local high school in Schenectady, is in his second year of the automotive program and has obtained an Automotive Service Excellence Certification from Hunter Engineering Company.

“Our program was already technologically advanced. Adding an electric vehicle curriculum and a hands-on model is very transformative for me and my peers. We now have access to technology that local stores don’t have, ”said Kempadoo, 17. “When the time comes to pursue a career in the automotive industry, we will have acquired the knowledge necessary to outperform other competitors. “

Kempadoo plans to pursue a college education after completing the BOCES program.

“I want to study electrical engineering in wiring or continue my automotive studies. Including an electrical study program is extremely beneficial for me as it will make it easier for me to make the transition to my post-secondary education, ”said Kempadoo. “Textbooks cannot duplicate the practical experience we get from working on an electric car. This new program shows that as time goes by, so do we. “

BOCES ‘new clean energy study program was funded by a $ 100,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for the purchase of laboratory tools, recharging equipment and educational resources concerning electric vehicles.

“There are stores here that won’t touch hybrid or electric vehicles due to their lack of knowledge or experience,” Kempadoo said. “Having our own electric car to work on gives us a unique opportunity and gives us currently limited experience in the job market. “

Also in his second year of the BOCES Automotive program, Scottish teenager Alexander Pelletier reflected his classmates’ enthusiasm for the introduction of a clean energy vehicle curriculum.

“I can’t wait to start learning the mechanics of electric vehicles. I like the electrical aspect of the automobile and the technology. After completing this program, my goal is to go to college and study computer hardware and software, ”Pelletier said. “Our new program will benefit me no matter which path I choose, and give me a significant head start. “

The New York Power Authority’s Clean Energy Workforce initiative was developed by an employee who suggested the idea. The authority of power facilitates a program called “Eureka!” which encourages authority employees to come up with ideas for improving services and community awareness. Electric authority employees Eric Pedersen and Cullen Brown came up with the idea of ​​donating the vehicles to local technical schools.

“When a car can no longer be used by the company, it is retired and sold at auction. Cullen and I have devised a plan to find a more targeted use of these vehicles. We came up with the idea and received incredible feedback, ”said Pederson, director of operations portfolio management for the electricity authority. “After two years of a ton of revisions and iterations, we were able to make our plan a reality. These vehicles are now an educational tool for young people. We couldn’t be happier.

The Clean Energy Workforce Training Program aims to advance the goals set out in the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The 2019 executive order calls on New York State to reduce its carbon emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030 and 85% by 2050. The plan also includes the definition of an electricity system zero emission. The law is intended to serve as a new standard for the nation to promote and accelerate a clean energy economy.

“It would never have been possible to start this program and allocate resources without the help of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the NYPA. The introduction of this program is imperative to bridge the gap between technology makers and educators, ”said Brian LaCroix, BOCES Automotive Instructor.

In addition to the donated 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Capital Region’s BOCES facility also received an electric compressor donated by DePaula Automotive Group. With financial constraints, BOCES ‘new clean energy program relies on technological donations from local partners.

“I want to thank the New York Power Authority for this generous car donation to help train the next generation of automotive service technicians,” said Anita Murphy, BOCES District Superintendent for the Capital Region. “This will allow our students to work on a hybrid vehicle for the first time, providing them with hands-on experience to learn the safe and proper way to maintain and repair the automobiles of today and tomorrow.

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