Maricopa Unified School District students will be among those building an electric vehicle from the battery next school year.

Electric vehicle technology is a new program at the Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology based in Coolidge.

“We will have a certified teacher to teach the class,” CAVIT Director Emily Maxwell said of the new EV technology program.

CAVIT is a public school district working in partnership with 17 Arizona high schools, including Maricopa and Desert Sunrise.

MUSD formed a partnership with CAVIT to expand its Career Technical Education program.

The EV course is among several vocational-education courses, and one of three new offerings at the CAVIT campus in Coolidge. Welding and construction technology are the two other new programs.

CAVIT’s mission is to prepare students for high-wage, high-demand occupations while in high school. Maxwell said the new courses for next school year are intended “to better meet the needs of high-demand occupations in Pinal County.”

The EV course is intended to train a local workforce for companies such Lucid Motors, which has a massive EV manufacturing plant in Casa Grande.

CAVIT enrollment for 10th- and 11th-grade students takes place until January, Maxwell said.

She said 115 Maricopa and Desert Sunrise high school students are enrolled at CAVIT, which offers training in everything from the most popular course, cosmetology and hair styling, to automotive, culinary arts, graphic design and aviation.

The welding course only has space for 18 students and equipment, Maxwell said.

Last year, CAVIT was at enrollment capacity with about 3,000 students. It required a lottery for enrollment, which also takes into account student essays and attending events along with parental participation as part of the rubric.

CAVIT offers students “real-world experience,” including off-campus training for dental hygienists at dental offices, and cosmetology at hairstyle studios. The program gives students certification in those professions.

MUSD provides transportation for Maricopa students to and from the Coolidge campus twice a day.

“We are honored to have our partnership (with MUSD) and excited to have it grow every year,” Maxwell said.

CAVIT’s website can be found here.