Ford Focus electric car (Wikipedia photo)

Three electric vehicles will be unveiled this week from Sonoma Rosa College in Sonoma State to support the SRJC’s Automated Technology Program, a vocational technical education program that prepares students for future careers with tradesmen, smoking stations, maintenance facilities and other businesses.

Last August, the Sonoma County Supervisors Board approved three donations of Ford Focus cars for college donations.

The grant will support SRJC in its mission to train future, advanced entry level candidates in the field of automotive technology. The SRJC program also seeks to address systemic labor shortages in the automotive industry. The donation will help Sonoma County by adding pools of electric vehicle technicians who effectively use strategic climate action and resilience goals and support the use of electric vehicles.

“We are pleased to support the SRJC’s automotive technology program,” said Supervisor Board of Directors Linda Hopkins. “This contribution will benefit the entire community and the diverse workforce. In addition, by 2030, Sonoma County is one step closer to carbon neutrality.

Sonoma County Fleet Operations manages and maintains 1,300 vehicles in the county and is actively working to achieve climate action and resilience goals in the Sonoma County strategic plan. Fleet Operations hopes to comply with N-79-20, a new state executive order requiring all new cars and passenger cars sold in California to be zero-emitted by 2035. In particular, by increasing Fleet sustainability and reducing emissions in all County Fleet vehicles. Funding and, where possible, Fleet plans to produce county (owned or leased) light-powered cars, vans, and trucks to achieve 3026 zero-emissions. To upgrade existing county-owned electric charging stations by 2023. All of this is of interest to EVs and EV-trained technicians.

We are proud to support the SRJC Automotive Technologies Program. This contribution will support our partnership with the community and the strong ‘real world’ education in the fast-growing electric vehicle service and maintenance industry, “said Assistant Fleet Manager. “Trained entrepreneurs are in high demand, and Fleet is committed to the diverse workforce of our community to the workforce, which is not only important and valuable, but also supports the county’s long-term future prospects.

By making this significant contribution to local partners and stakeholders, Sonoma County is helping the county find a safe and high-paying job in the long run. The county supports a strong and ‘real world’ SRJC education experience to attract interest in the growing electric vehicle service and maintenance industry as well as help alleviate systemic EV-labor shortages in the automotive industry. This will enable Fleet Operations to replace their vehicles with more efficient, longer-range EVs, promote the county as an employer, and contribute to the county’s green strategic climate action and resilience goals.

“This generous donation will enable the Santa Rosa Junior College Automotive Technologies Program to provide hands-on training for new automotive repair technicians on battery electric vehicles,” he said. “These vehicles will help us accelerate the electrification of our passenger ships and develop the manpower needed to meet our climate change goals in Sonoma County. We truly thank Sonoma County for its generosity and foresight.

The SRJC Department of Industry and Trade Technology offers local community degrees and certifications in automotive, diesel, machine tooling and welding to help students gain entry-level careers and develop their careers in high-demand careers.

This grant will support local training, teaching and development of future entry-level automotive candidates.