Under the Biden Administration, the federal government is accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) to confront the climate crisis with a commitment to building a national network of 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030. In January 2024, the City received funding through the Ride and Drive Electric Grant to establish “Plug In Philly” – a City-led workforce development pilot program to empower aspiring EV supplies and equipment (EVSE) workers.

In her inauguration speech and 100-Day Action Plan, Mayor Cherelle Parker has reiterated her vision for a safer, cleaner, and greener Philadelphia, with economic opportunity for all. Partnering with IBEW Local 98, Plug In Philly will expand access to career training and employment within the EVSE industry while increasing and diversifying the City’s green workforce. This initiative will empower and train Philadelphia’s low-wage workers, overwhelmingly women and racial minorities, for high-paying job opportunities.

The Plug In Philly program will:

  1. Build an EVSE focused pre-apprentice program,
  2. Increase awareness to job seekers, especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and women Philadelphians currently in low-wage jobs, and
  3. Support graduates’ job placement in EVSE careers.

This pre-apprenticeship program will expand access to career-track training and employment in EVSE installation and maintenance work. Ultimately, Plug In Philly will increase and diversify the workforce needed to make a national EV charging station network possible.

The City will lead the initiative in partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98 and its training arm, Apprentice Training for the Electrical Industry (ATEI).

Additional partners include:

  1. Philadelphia Works Inc. (PhilaWorks)
  2. Community College of Philadelphia (CCP)
  3. School District of Philadelphia (SDP)
  4. National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Philadelphia

The Ride and Drive Electric grant is made possible under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the largest long-term infrastructure investment in our country’s history. The Infrastructure Solutions Team (IST), led by the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS), is spearheading BIL work in Philadelphia. The IST’s mission is to advance racial equity with the BIL funding. The team is working to:

  • Increase the number of City contracts awarded to historically underutilized businesses, and
  • Ensure that infrastructure workers, from planning to construction, look more like the population of Philadelphia.