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Watch now: $7.5 million electric vehicle workforce training program coming to Normal
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Watch now: $7.5 million electric vehicle workforce training program coming to Normal

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday announced plans to create a $7.5 million electric vehicle workforce development program at Heartland Community College. The move comes as electric vehicle maker Rivian ramps up production in Normal.

This is a developing story that will be updated ... 

NORMAL — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday announced plans to create a $7.5 million electric vehicle workforce development program at Heartland Community College. The move comes as electric vehicle maker Rivian ramps up production in Normal.

"I'm just thrilled about the opportunity to partner with Heartland," Pritzker said during a press conference. 

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, right, talks with Jim Chen, Rivian vice president of public policy and chief regulator counsel, as they stand next to a new Rivian pickup truck as Pritzker announces funding a $7.5 million electric vehicle education center at Heartland Community College on Wednesday.

A dozen students are expected to take part in the first wave in the fall, said Heartland President Keith Cornille. The facility is expected to be fully operational by 2023. 

The project will "transform Central Illinois into a hub of innovation," Cornille said, with long-term plans to develop advanced manufacturing training in the future. 

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Heartland Community College President Keith Cornille, left, gives Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker an elbow bump after Pritzker announced funding a $7.5 million electric vehicle education center at Heartland Community College on Wednesday.

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State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, thanked the state for the investment into "education, into training, into jobs for the future."

Rivian is expected to have 1,800 workers at its Normal plant by June, when production is scheduled to start. 

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A drawing of the proposed electric vehicle training facility at Heartland Community College was unveiled as Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced funding of the $7.5 million electric vehicle education center at Heartland Community College on Wednesday.

Rivian bought the former Mitsubishi Motors North America plant in Normal four years ago for $16 million and has been ramping up for production to start in June. The company last week finalized the purchase of 380 acres of farmland west of the factory.

Rivian was founded in 2009 by RJ Scaringe, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate. The company also is developing showrooms in Chicago, New York and suburban Los Angeles and is under agreement with Amazon to develop electric delivery vehicles. 

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Heartland Community College President Keith Cornille, left, listens as Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces funding a $7.5 million electric vehicle education center at Heartland Community College on Wednesday.

Illinois has 27,282 registered electric vehicles, state data shows. 

Pritzker on Wednesday also announced a new workforce training program at Southwestern Illinois College in the Metro East. 


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