On a bright Thursday morning in February, students gathered around the slim EV charger as Jesse Montras gently opened the case, ran his hands over the cool metal and named off the parts—computer board, transformer, import block, GCF block. As the instructor and the other 29 students hung on his words, Jesse felt the people around him on edge, anticipating each word as he named part after part.
As he completed the quiz and the instructor moved on, Jesse thought back to how far he had come to be in the machine shop that day. In Jesse’s words, he “deviated from a young age”, and ended up incarcerated. He never thought he would graduate from high school, but while in prison he earned his GED and started working towards university credits in business at Palos Verdes college. After graduating from the APC Fellowship, Jesse plans to work to install EV charging stations and pursue his dream of building his own EVSE installation firm and grow with his own employees as the industry grows.
“My mentality has shifted,” said Jesse. “Once I got my GED I thought I would be satisfied to just get any job, but when this opportunity came up I realized that there was more for me—to better myself, leave a legacy, leave my past behind and move forward.”
Jesse is part of the Advanced Prototyping Center Fellowship Technical Boot Camp, a three-week training program where 30 students learn EVSE Light Repair and Troubleshoot Training—EV charging station repair and maintenance. When he graduates, Jesse will have earned industry-recognised skills including NFPA 70E Certification, EVSE Technical Knowledge and EVSE Industry On-Site Visits, plus benefitting from career coaching, teambuilding, effective communication courses and project-based learning.
Once he completes the three-week course, Jesse could be selected to join just 15 students who spend a further three months in the program and receive technical support from professional trainers. Cohort 1, which graduated in September 2019, 86% of participants were successfully placed at the end of the three-month Career Technical Support program.
The APC Fellowship Program is a multi-tiered workforce training pipeline program to provide promising candidates with technical training, interpersonal skills, and industry-recognized certifications to help them succeed. The program brings un- or under-employeed people from underrepresented groups an entree into the green economy with practical hands on training on EVSE Light Repair and Troubleshoot Training to support our Zero Emissions Mobility Pilot Program, which is part of the Transportation Electrification Partnership.
Through the APC Fellowship Program, students like Jesse can reach their potential and together we can ensure that everyone in Los Angeles can participate in and benefit from the green economy. Special thanks to our corporate partners the Bently Foundation, GoBiz, California Workforce Development Board and Wells Fargo, who support the APC Fellowship program.