Amping Up Electric Vehicle Manufacturing in the Pacific Northwest


Prosper Portland recently partnered with the City of Seattle, Office of Sustainability & Environment to identify opportunities to build an inclusive workforce related to zero emission cars, buses and truck manufacturing. We have clear advantages in our region for such opportunities, including strong climate change policy leadership and a growing EV industry here with lower barriers to entry for EV production jobs.

The report resulting from our collaboration with Seattle points to several areas where increasing awareness and access to clean transportation along with workforce development opportunities present opportunities for impacted communities to become active participants in the changing transportation economy.

In addition, the report calls for collective, collaborative innovation with key partners in industry, the public sector, and education and training institutions to advance the development of the EV industry and its potential for job and economic growth:

o   Use our position as a public sector convener to play a leading role in ensuring that the technological and business advancements occurring in the EV field are coupled with equally innovative training programs and initiatives in the public sector.

o   Design training programs in the EV field that would target underserved populations and connect them to living wage jobs.

o   Establish public-private training partnerships to create EV-specific training/curricula. Tap into private sector knowledge of this rapidly changing industry and its occupational needs to inform ways the public sector can ensure that the interventions and initiatives adopted lead to a more diverse and inclusive industry.

While the pandemic crisis has forced the cancellation of important events like the 2020 Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition, we continue to explore and facilitate conversations about strategies and best practices for engaging frontline communities and communities of color. We are well-positioned to build a more diverse pipeline of qualified workers for the EV industry – provided that additional initiatives are in place to ensure more equitable and sustainable opportunities.