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WNC Business

BRCC and Land of Sky host Electric Vehicle Workforce event

Sep 28, 2023 02:48PM ● By WNC Business

HENDERSONVILLE – On September 26, as part of the Land of Sky Clean Vehicle Coalition’s ‘Drive Electric Week,’ Blue Ridge Community College hosted the Electric Vehicles Workforce Development event. The event brought together business and community leaders to explore the future of the electric vehicle industry and the local workforce required to sustain it.

In the Flex Lab of Blue Ridge’s Patton Building, business leaders joined automotive students in exploring multiple electric vehicles and Cummins-Meritor’s locally made eAxle – a key component for propelling an electric tractor trailer. The group then gathered for a keynote and panel presentation in the Wyatt Auditorium. The panel composed of local energy and business leaders discussed WNC’s workforce needs around electric vehicles and the future of the industry.

Blue Ridge Community College President Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood welcomed the attendees and speakers to the afternoon event.

“‘Partnership’ is a word that defines us here at Blue Ridge, as great things are done through relationships,” she said. “These strategic relationships have brought us together once again to take on an emerging technology – electric vehicles – and consider how it will create new opportunities for Western North Carolina.”

Blue Ridge’s Dr. Scott Queen and the Clean Vehicle Coalition’s Sara Nichols also welcomed the crowd and emphasized the importance of the day’s event. Kate Bashford, project coordinator for STEPs4GROWTH, gave the keynote presentation.

Panelists included Dr. Queen, Craig DeBrew of Duke Energy, Randy Hunter of Hunter Automotive Group, and Malissa Gordon from Piedmont Lithium. The panel discussion was moderated by Brittany Brady, president and CEO of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development.

As Blue Ridge seeks to expand its support of the emerging electric vehicle market, two relevant certificate programs are already offered to students: Auto Electric Drive and Electrical/Electronic Technician. To learn more about career and education opportunities in the transportation industry, visit

About Blue Ridge Community College: 
Blue Ridge Community College is a two-year, post-secondary institution providing real-life, affordable, and accessible education. The College offers more than 200 degrees, diplomas, and certificates; more than 200 online courses; and fast-tracked job training.

Featured Photo: Blue Ridge Community College automotive and transportation students view electric vehicles in the Flex Lab of the Patton Building. Photo by Rich Keen.

Source: Blue Ridge Community College