WCC adds Ford Mustang Mach-E to prepare next-generation workforce

WCC adds Ford Mustang Mach-E to prepare next-generation workforce

Image of Jimmie Baber and Al Lecz in front of the Ford Mustang Mach E at the Advanced Transportation Center
Jimmie Baber (Dean, Advanced Technologies & Public Service Careers) and Al Lecz (Director, Advanced Transportation Center)
Photo by JD Scott

Washtenaw Community College (WCC) continues to be a leader in training the future transportation workforce as it adds the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E to its vehicle fleet.

The vehicle was recently added to the Advanced Transportation Center (ATC) through the State of Michigan Perkins Funding. The Advanced Transportation Center, founded with a $10 million investment in 2014, trains WCC students to meet the needs of the ever-evolving transportation and mobility industries. The Advanced Transportation Center will debut the Mach E at the 2021 Motor Bella Automobili-D Days in September at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac. Motor Bella will serve as a bridge event due to the North American International Auto Show’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are thrilled to have one of the newest electric battery vehicles to train our students for the jobs of tomorrow. At any given time, we have an average of 1,000 students enrolled in our mobility-related courses, and this is a big step in our commitment to prepare highly skilled workers and fill a much-need talent gap.

Dr. Rose B. Bellanca, WCC President & CEO

Every year, Dr. Rose B. Bellanca serves as a keynote speaker at the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation’s Annual Global Symposium to detail new additions to the ATC program and highlight graduates that are working in the industry to create a safer transportation system. In 2021, Dr. Rose Bellanca spotlighted Zachyre van Buren and Emily Hatsigeorgiou, who are working at Belcan and General Motors respectively.

The new vehicle will provide hands-on training for the next-generation electric-vehicle (EV) careers. This includes learning opportunities focused on performance evaluation, diagnostics, batteries and sensors, cybersecurity and more. WCC’s Transportation Technologies and Cybersecurity faculty members are currently enhancing academic programs around the new Mach-E, including Cyndi Millns who was a featured speaker at the 20/20 CCAT Global Symposium.

This is a fascinating new asset for the WCC Advanced Transportation Center and Mobility programs, providing some of the latest sensor and control technologies for connected and automated and electric vehicles. I foresee a lot of interest and excitement for our students with this Mach-E in preparing for occupations in CAV/EV product development and servicing.

Al Lecz, Director of the Advanced Transportation Center (ATC)

The college is coordinating the vehicle’s purpose with activities from the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT), the Region 5 University Transportation Center led by the University of Michigan. WCC serves as the only community college in the consortium. Other members include Purdue University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Akron, and Central State University.