In its push to launch 30 new electric vehicles by 2025 and hit zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, General Motors is undertaking a major transition. Making that transition a reality will be GM’s employees, many of whom will receive electric vehicle training through the GM Automotive Manufacturing Electric College (AMEC).
According to a recent report from Detroit Free Press, AMEC was born from a need to improve General Motors employee training with specialization and new skills. The students are all full-time General Motors employees, including both new hires and veteran workers, who attend classes as their primary “job” with the intention of graduating at the end of the year with the technical skills needed for building the latest and greatest GM vehicles.
AMEC was originally set to launch last year, but the launch was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the first classes instead starting this past January.
One of the main drivers behind the creation of AMEC is Jason Garrison. Garrison was a GM global technical integration engineer back in 2019, responsible for setting GM’s electrical manufacturing standards. However, when electrical issues on the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado pickups resulted in a recall of some 350,000 pickups, Garrison approached higher-ups with an idea to improve GM employee training.
“It’s a significant cost to pay to staff it, hire people and pay them their full salary for a year without getting any production out of them,” Garrison told Detroit Free Press. “But we feel if we train people, then in the long haul they will stay with GM and our warranty costs on electrical repairs will go down.”
The precise budget allocated for AMEC was not disclosed, but according to Garrison, it’s millions of dollars.
In addition to providing the skills needed to produce and design electric vehicles, AMEC will also provide workers with the skills needed to work on complex electrical systems for internal combustion engines.
New students are expected to join the classes in the next few months, with graduates set to work in manufacturing facilities like Spring Hill Assembly in Tennessee, which will build the new Cadillac Lyriq, as well as Factory ZERO (previously known as Detroit-Hamtramck), set to build the GMC Hummer EV.