YOUNGSTOWN — Greenwood Chevrolet in Austintown and the Greenwood Foundation donated a new Chevrolet Bolt to Youngstown State University today — and made a $100,000 donation to the Excellence Training Center.
Greg Greenwood, owner of Greenwood Chevrolet, said the collaboration will offer opportunities to YSU students and bolster the electric car industry in the Mahoning Valley.
Of thousands of cars sold at his dealership each year, only a handful of them are electric cars, he said. Working with YSU, there will be more visibility for people to see electric cars on the road., Greenwood said.
“This is a winning team,” Greenwood said. “This is a team with great vision and great execution that gets it done for our Valley.”
Greenwood said the Chevrolet Bolt is the foundation of all future progress for General Motors in the electric vehicle industry. With LG Chem and GM investing in the Valley with the Ultium Cells LLC battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown, people need to be trained for the jobs that will become available, he said.
“We're pleased to continue our support of Youngstown State University, and we're pleased to offer both our financial support and this new Chevrolet Bolt to them.”
Jennifer Oddo, executive director of the Center for Workforce Education and Innovation, said the car will be used by staff members to go to employers in the community to help build workforce strategies. The car will also visit high schools and career and technical schools to engage students to participate in the Excellence Training Center’s programs.
The Excellence Training Center is a partnership between YSU, Eastern Gateway Community College, Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull County Career and Technical Centers, the Youngstown Business Incubator and NCDMM/America Makes.
The center is a workforce education and research center focusing on advanced manufacturing and will include traditional and non-traditional certifications and industry-recognized credentials.
“The center represents the future of the Mahoning Valley and the future of Youngstown,” Oddo said.
YSU’s Excellence Training Center is expected to open in July. YSU President Jim Tressel said the university is also planning to create another center in Lordstown.
Tressel said Youngstown has a history of working in agriculture, steel and the combustion engine. Now, the Mahoning Valley is becoming the “Voltage Valley.”
“This is just a great message that there’s really a new day in the Valley,” Tressel said.
Tressel said the university will play an important role in training the workforce of the future.
“We're going to be able to really make a difference,” Tressel said, noting the center is not just for young people but for all individuals who want training.