Starting Dec. 18, Renton Technical College (RTC) will kick off its latest specialized program after partnering with electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian — but first, the program was previewed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and his staff.
An avid supporter of electric vehicles, Inslee signed into law a bill that set 2035 as the date that all new cars registered in Washington state must be electric.
“It’s vital as Washington transitions to electric vehicles that we have trained technicians,” said Rivian policy advisor Hannah Steinweg.
Rivian is based in Irvine, California with its one manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois.
To prepare future technicians for the electric vehicle work force, the five-month Rivian Technical Trades Program will provide paid training, where student technicians will learn the latest electric vehicle technologies in the classroom and through hands-on training.
“I think the partnership between Rivian and the college is so productive and so efficient. To leverage their assets to make this happen is just a perfect model of that kind of thing,” said Inslee. “And it’s encouraging that Rivian understands they need this talent and they’re making sure it happens. I’m just very encouraged by it. I’ve been a believer that electric vehicles are extremely popular, and they are, but you got to have a service person.”
For time in class and for working in a Service Center, students will get paid for time at least 40 hours per week at a minimum of $26 per hour. Once the course is completed, the Tech Trades Technicians are able to become Rivian Service Technicians.
Rivian will provide instruction in the RTC Automotive Building, which has been designed to simulate a Rivian facility. Students will work with Rivian vehicles, which include a truck, an SUV, a delivery van, and a mobile service vehicle.
“We are proud to partner with Rivian to work on the latest green technology,” said RTC Workforce Dean Warren Takata. “This opens the doors to high-wage careers in a growing field.”
To apply, students must be at least 21 years old with a high school diploma or GED, a certificate or degree in automotive technology, or at least two years of relevant work experience. Participants need a basic knowledge of electrical systems and be willing to travel or relocate.
Tuition for the ten classes at RTC is $3,000. To apply, email TechnicalTradesProgram@Rivian.com.