BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The GUMBO Initiative has kicked off at Baton Rouge Community College. The concept was developed in response to the NEVI Formula Program that will create a demand for EVSE installation, operations, and maintenance technicians.

“We would be able to better train all Louisiana citizens versus someone from out of state to be the maintenance and troubleshooting of our electric charging station, which is a win for our community,” said Willie Smith, BRCC Chancellor.

BRCC leaders along with Louisiana Clean Fuels and other partners announced the launch of GUMBO, an incentive guaranteeing access to underserved and marginalized populations by building employment opportunities.

This collaboration addresses the shortage in trained technicians for electric vehicle supply equipment in Louisiana. There are over 11,000 plug-in electric vehicles in Louisiana, with 68% growth, according to LCF.

“We realize that there are going to be so many chargers that we’re going to need to be built and that we would need to have a trained workforce ready to go,” said Ann Vail, Louisiana Clean Fuels Executive Director.

BRCC is developing a curriculum for the 2024 semester that will train students with equipment funded by the U.S Department of Energy.

Leaders say this allows them to pay Louisiana’s citizens versus out of state technicians. At least 300 new DC fast chargers will be installed under the state’s competitive grant program.

“I mean, this is going to help businesses and citizens. I mean, we’re going to have citizens making some livable wages finally. And I think that’s going to be huge for our economy here. And it’s also going to be good for the environment,” said Robert Wooley, Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary.