YSU, Foxconn partner for national EV training and innovation center

FoxconnYoungstown State University and Hon Hai Technology Group (“Foxconn”) (TWSE:2317) today announced intentions to establish a partnership to design and launch a national electric vehicle workforce training and innovation center. 

The center will focus on helping the emerging electric vehicle industry build and scale a sustainable workforce around advanced manufacturing, energy storage and other integrated technology solutions, such as artificial intelligence, 5G and cybersecurity. 

The parties intend for the center to have national reach and to generate a strong economic impact on the region and beyond, YSU President Jim Tressel said. 

“Over the course of history, Ohio has shown that it knows how to build a workforce,” Tressel said. “YSU and our partners across the state and nation are committed to ensuring that we have the skilled, talented workers needed for the electric vehicle industry to succeed. This training and innovation center will be central to those efforts for our nation.”

YSU and Foxconn will develop short and long-term strategies that include the training and innovation facility in the area of Lordstown, where Foxconn owns a factory for electric vehicle manufacturing. YSU and Foxconn also intend to execute a formal memorandum of understanding and partnership within the next few months. 

“Leveraging Foxconn’s manufacturing strengths, Foxconn will redefine contract design and manufacturing services within the automotive sector,” said Jerry Hsiao, chief product officer, Foxconn. “As our center of gravity for electric vehicle production continues to grow within Ohio, Foxconn is proud to work with academic partners like Youngstown State University to meet the highly-skilled workforce demands of the future.”

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. 

“A national hub will help break down barriers and access to educational programming, create greater awareness of opportunities, and leverage standardized best practices that can be deployed across any geographic footprint,” she said.

The National EV center will build off YSU’s experience and capabilities through the YSU Excellence Training Center, a 54,000 square foot training and innovation center focused on advanced manufacturing and integrated technologies, Oddo said. “This new industry-centered model will only create more opportunity for those in our region, our state and for all Americans to participate in career or education pathways,” she added.

In addition to Foxconn’s support, the intent for the center will be to leverage private funding from General Motors and Ultium Cells LLC community investment that YSU received in 2021.