SOUTHFIELD, MI—As the auto industry’s transition to electrification accelerates, workers need to develop new skillsets. To address the issue, SME has developed an Electric Vehicle Fundamental certification program to help educate people involved with the production and maintenance of electric cars.

SME obtained input from industrial and academic experts to develop a Body of Knowledge that encompasses the technologies, job roles, competencies and skills critical to vehicle electrification. The training roadmap takes learners through broader manufacturing areas that are foundational to automotive assembly, electric vehicle production and e-mobility manufacturing. 

In addition, electrification-specific training is designed to incorporate key learning objectives to prepare learners whether individuals have no background in vehicle production and assembly, or they have experience but need to tailor their knowledge to the EV market. Topics like lithium-ion battery handling and safety, high-energy batteries, and electric vehicle components and manufacturing are covered in-depth.

The training, along with the certification, prepares individuals to thrive in a variety of job roles, including assembly technician, production associate, team assembler, manufacturing technician, battery pack assembler, quality control inspector, electric motor assembler and maintenance technician. 

SME's efforts to upskill workers for electric vehicle manufacturing include support from a variety of industry groups and states, especially those with heavy concentrations of automotive companies, such as Michigan, Ohio and South Carolina.

“To ensure all of North America’s talent has the capabilities needed to adopt new technologies and advance manufacturing, [we have] undertaken extensive research into labor demands for EV manufacturing and electrification, including leveraging insights from industry leaders,” says Jeannine Kunz, SME’s chief workforce development officer. “Our collaboration with manufacturers, schools and workforce organizations will embed in-demand EV expertise and competencies into nationwide career development programs and technical education.”

“With EV technology revolutionizing the automotive industry, there is a unique opportunity for thousands of individuals to harness its potential into a promising career,” adds Robert Willig, executive director and CEO of SME. “[Our] strong partnerships with industry and education, commitment to advancing emerging technologies, focus on upskilling the nation’s workforce and dedication to validating competency through certification will all contribute to supporting the evolution of U.S. manufacturing in this way.

“[We are] committed to supporting the industry's transition to battery electric vehicles and will remain dedicated