CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning County Career and Technical Center broke ground Tuesday for the Innovative Energy and Technology Workforce Training Center.

The new center will provide another opportunity for high school students and adults in the area.

The Valley has seen advancements when it comes to electric vehicle technology and innovative energy, and there’s a workforce demand for these new jobs

John Zehentbauer, MCCTC superintendent, said the project’s groundbreaking is a big step toward expanding the center’s electricity program.

“We’re always trying to think ahead,” Zehentbauer said.

Construction on the new training center is expected to start mid-November. Students should be able to use it by September 2023.

Zehentbauer said interest in EV has grown quite a bit.

“A year ago, when we bought those first EVs, the students didn’t really know what to think of them because maintenance is completely different. There’s not a combustible engine … but they’ve kind of grown on it,” Zehentbauer said.

MCCTC junior William Tadlock said he’s grateful for the new training opportunity.

“It’s the new wave coming, so we’re going to be really experienced for the future, and I feel like that’s really good to have,” Tadlock said.

Zehentbauer believes this $1.1 million investment of new technology and training will help the local workforce as well.

“The students are realizing, in order to be apart of the workforce, they’re going to have to understand how they work and how they operate,” Zehentbauer said.

A donation from Mahoning County Commissioners, grant money and local funds make the project possible.