Edison Grants SBVC $75,000 to Support Electric Vehicle & STEM Education

SBVC professor Berchman “Kenny” Melancon observes as Enrique Allen Mar of Advanced Training Systems demonstrates a commercial truck driving simulator the college is acquiring as part of its expanded clean vehicle technology curriculum (photo credit: LaVar Godoy, hi-res version here: http://ge.tt/7bMg5X63).

Edison International recently awarded the San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) Foundation $75,000 to support SBVC’s Clean Energy Hybrid and Electric Vehicle (EV) Technician Program and STEM scholarships for SBVC students.

SBVC’s Clean Energy Hybrid/EV Technician Program grant award totaled $50,000. The goals of the program are to increase the availability of electric vehicle (EV) training, reach additional students who are interested in the training, and give students sought-after clean energy/EV skills that makes them more competitive for higher-wage job opportunities.

The program also includes campus outreach activities, which consists of faculty attending career fairs at local high schools and community events, developing informational materials about the program, and disseminating the materials to promote electric/hybrid clean technology programs. Led by SBVC faculty chair of the Diesel Department, Berchman “Kenny” Melancon, faculty conducted community outreach in Winter 2019 and Spring 2020 at Redlands High School, Pacific High School and an event at the Fontana Speedway to promote SBVC’s clean energy programs. This outreach prioritized meetings with community members, high school counselors, students, and parents.

One of the degree offerings being promoted through the program is the Heavy/Medium Duty Clean Vehicle Technology Certificate, a 22-unit credential designed for students to build skills working on Zero Emissions, Electric, and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles. Funding from donors like Edison International enables SBVC to develop career pathways and recruit students to prepare them for jobs in this in-demand logistics field.

As a component of the Clean Energy Hybrid/EV Technician Program grant, five student scholarships were awarded to students, who will be graduating with their certifications in June 2021. The scholarships, funded at $1,000 each, were awarded to Blake Burndred, Richard Jaramillo, Anmolpreet Singh, Brian Garcia, and Anthony Przybylek. Scholarships were determined by department faculty.“We are expanding every year and are grateful for Edison International’s continued support,” Melancon explained. “Our goal is to ensure our students are educated with the most current technology, so when they enter the job market, they are an asset wherever they decide to go.”

One student in the clean vehicle technology program works for Riverside Transit Authority. Once his employer found out that he was taking classes for the clean vehicle technology certificate, he was given a pay raise and a higher job title.

In addition to the program grant, Edison International awarded the SBVC Foundation a $25,000 grant for STEM scholarships. The scholarships benefited 25 students at SBVC who are pursuing careers in STEM fields, such as Computer Science, Mathematics, Bioengineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Students were recognized in the SBVC Foundation’s virtual scholarship award ceremony on June 4, 2020.

Since 2010, Edison International has partnered with the SBVC Foundation to offer scholarships to SBVC students. Through this work, Edison has directly supprted students interested in careers in green technology and environmental areas. For students who begin their studies at SBVC with an economic disadvantage, these grants to improve training and create scholarship opportunities represent a lifeline to a living wage and limitless career opportunities. SBVC’s long-time partnership with Edison International has positively impacted its students’ lives as well as the greater Inland Empire community.

About the San Bernardino Valley College Foundation:

The San Bernardino Valley College Foundation was formed in 1973 to support San Bernardino Valley College in providing quality education and services that support a diverse community of learners. The Foundation is a non-profit, 509(a)(3) organization whose vision is to sustain and promote the legacy of San Bernardino Valley College in our community. www.sbvcfoundation.org.