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Imperial Valley College Launches Training Program for Lithium Industry and Geothermal Energy


Imperial Valley College (IVC), in partnership with the County of Imperial, EnergySource Minerals, BHE Renewables, and Controlled Thermal Resources, announced the introduction of the Lithium Industry Force Training (LIFT) program on Wednesday, May 24th. Starting in Fall of 2023, this program aims to provide the local workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in geothermal energy and mineral extraction. As Lithium Valley continues to develop, the LIFT program will create valuable employment opportunities for individuals in Imperial County.

The LIFT program has been specifically designed to meet the growing demand for qualified professionals in the geothermal energy and mineral extraction sectors. With the progress of the Lithium Valley project and the geothermal energy industry, there is an increasing need for a skilled workforce capable of effectively harnessing geothermal energy and extracting minerals in an efficient and sustainable manner.

The program will offer one-year short-term certificate programs, primarily focusing on Lithium but applicable to other industrial applications as well. Students will have access to state-of-the-art equipment, hands-on training, and internship opportunities. The new programs offered by LIFT will include Plant Operator, Instrumentation Technician, and Chemical Lab Technician, all connected to industry certifications such as the Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA) and the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3).

Experienced faculty members from Imperial Valley College, with extensive expertise in geothermal energy and mineral extraction, will lead the Lithium Industry Force Training program. These instructors will provide a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on training to prepare participants for successful careers in these industries.

Imperial Valley College and the County of Imperial aim to empower local residents by providing specialized training that equips them with the skills and expertise needed to secure employment opportunities within the Lithium Valley project and the broader geothermal energy and mineral extraction sectors. This program reflects their commitment to fostering economic growth, sustainability, and innovation within the region.

“We are proud to launch this groundbreaking program, tailored to our community’s needs and developed in collaboration with the County of Imperial. It is a testament to our dedicated team, including our staff, faculty, and all those who came together to address the needs of students and industries,” said Efrain Silva, IVC Dean of Economic Workforce Development. “With the support of the County, community, partners, and students, we are shaping the future of economic workforce development and empowering success in a changing economy.”

Dr. Lennor Johnson, IVC Superintendent/President, added, “This achievement would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our esteemed colleagues and community partners. We are deeply grateful for the County’s dedication and commitment to our institution, which has allowed us to pioneer innovative initiatives that will shape the future of the Lithium industry. Together, we are forging a path of excellence and driving progress in education and economic workforce development. Thank you, Imperial County and our remarkable community, for your invaluable support on this transformative journey. We are committed to continuing to provide quality education to the community.”

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Ryan E. Kelley, commended IVC for creating a program that provides local technical training for the development of Lithium Valley. He stated, “Their collaboration with the Imperial County Workforce Development Board and the industry is now bearing fruit.”

Registration for the Plant Operator Program will begin on July 5, 2023, with classes commencing on August 14, 2023. The Instrumentation and Chemical Lab Technician Programs will start in Fall 2024.

For more information about the Lithium Industry Force Training program or to inquire about enrollment, please visit the Imperial Valley College website at www.Imperial.edu.

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