Lucid Motors prototype 9

Lucid Motors has been planning to build an electric car manufacturing plant in Casa Grande.

SIGNAL PEAK — Central Arizona College students pursuing an Industrial Maintenance Certificate or a Production Technician Certificate will soon have the opportunity to obtain them through an enhanced curriculum and hands-on work with area companies, including highly anticipated electric car startup Lucid Motors.

The CAC Governing Board approved the new advanced technology curriculum, supporting electrical vehicle and industry training, via a consent agenda item at its Tuesday meeting.

“We’ve worked hand in hand with Lucid to develop curriculum as well as that we have on the books to bring it together to create a program for advanced manufacturing,” Engineering and Technology Division Chair Kristen Benedict told PinalCentral.

This new curriculum, she said, adds to a “robust” curriculum CAC already has in place, developing the curriculum to more accurately meet demands of the advanced manufacturing field.

“With any program, there’s always tweaks and modifications that happen,” she said. “But the foundation is in place.”

Benedict said the program has three different “pathways” with multiple certificates obtainable in the program.

Though she could not say how many students would be able to enroll, she said the student population would contribute a “large sector” to the 2,000 employees Lucid has predicted the company would need.

She specified, though, that although a CAC student may work with Lucid, like working with any professional company before completing coursework, there’s no guarantee for a permanent job afterward.

“We definitely, our coursework and curriculum will be to this advanced manufacturing sector, of which Lucid is one,” Benedict said.

The Lucid Motors announcement, initially made in late November, caused a stir for many Pinal County residents, many of them remaining on the edge of their seats waiting for more information to be made public on the electric vehicle company.

But the details remaining somewhat under wraps didn’t pose a problem for CAC in working with the company, Benedict said.

She said the program will be a good fit for students seeking to strengthen a variety of skill sets related to advanced manufacturing, including hands-on robotics and computer science.

After receiving the Governing Board’s approval, the new curriculum must be presented to the Higher Learning Commission, the college’s accrediting body, for final approval, according to a CAC release.

The release states that the certificate courses are expected to begin Feb. 13.


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