Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) has announced plans to partner with Youngstown State University (YSU) to set up an electrical vehicle (EV) workforce training and innovation center at Ohio's Lordstown, where Foxconn operates an EV plant.
The center will focus on helping the emerging EV industry to build a sustainable workforce around advanced manufacturing, energy storage and other integrated solutions such as AI, 5G and cybersecurity, Foxconn said in a statement.
Both parties will jointly work out short and long-term development strategies for the center, and an official memorandum of understanding and partnership is set to be signed in a few months, the statement continued.
"As our EV production continues to grow in Ohio, Foxconn is proud to work with academic partners like YSU to meet the demand for highly skilled workforce in the future," said Jerry Hsiao, chief product officer at Foxconn.
"Leveraging its manufacturing prowess, Foxconn will redefine contract design and manufacturing services (CDMS) within the automotive sector," Hsiao continued.
YSU president Jim Tressel has expressed the hope that the center will have a nationwide reach in the US and bring strong economic benefits to the region and beyond.
"Now is the time to break down geographic and institutional silos to provide workforce solutions that accelerate the ability for industry, academia, government and workforce organizations to come together and more quickly deploy resources and strategies to address industry workforce needs," Tressel said.
The U.S. Department of Energy earlier this year commissioned YSU to conduct a national and regional labor market assessment of the energy storage industry for electric vehicles. Jennifer Oddo, executive director of Workforce Education and Innovation at YSU, said findings strongly suggest the need for a national workforce center to accelerate the adoption of programs like registered apprenticeship, stackable industry credentials and new applied learning models that address ever-changing industry needs.