Apprenticeship Program

The RIDE-SMART apprenticeship program was born from a need to create new opportunities for underserved communities.

A life-changing opportunity

RIDE collaborated with SMART Local 105 and Antelope Valley College to create this manufacturing apprenticeship program. This successful labor-management partnership is the first Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) registered apprenticeship program in California and the first electric bus manufacturing apprenticeship program in the country.

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Structured advancement

264 hours of coursework delivered by Antelope Valley College (AVC).

Real experience

2,736 hours of on-the-job training.

Competency first

18 months of the apprenticeship for competency in equipment operation and maintenance, safety, inspection/ quality control and inventory.

Creating a pathway to success

The pre-apprenticeship is an eight-week, 24- to 30-hour per week commitment. It includes 32-hour, hands-on hard skills practicum at the RIDE facility as well as classroom instruction, a worker panel discussion and a RIDE facility tour. Participants gain basic competencies in electric bus manufacturing tools and procedures, safety and professionalism.

Individuals who successfully complete the pre-apprenticeship are placed on a priority hiring list for entry-level positions at the facility, and should they apply for and enter employment at RIDE, they bypass the required one year of tenured employment and are granted direct entry into the IMT apprenticeship.

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Committed to community

In July 2017, RIDE became the first electric vehicle manufacturer to enter into a community benefits agreement. This agreement was greeted in partnership with SMART Local 105 and Jobs to Move America (JMA) which is designed to create opportunities in the manufacturing industry for underrepresented and underserved populations. RIDE has committed to recruit and hire workers from groups facing employment barriers, including veterans, returning citizens, women and people of color.

The CBA also involves the development of training and apprenticeship programs in the electric bus manufacturing and assembly industry. Technical training within these programs encompasses classroom instruction and hands-on experience in various skills such as basic tool skills, precision metal work, electrical wiring, and assembly of complex mechanical and electrical systems.

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