Federal incentives are driving investments in the electric-car industry worth more than $100 billion. Every state wants a piece of the action, and Tennessee is getting plenty. It’s a lynchpin of the new Battery Belt that stretches from Michigan to Georgia. More than $16 billion in EV capital has poured into the state since 2017. Last year, Ford Motor Co. broke ground on a giant new plant near Memphis that’s slated to open in 2025 and churn out half a million electric trucks per year.
But the drive to reboot manufacturing and claim national leadership in strategic technologies is about to crunch up against a shortfall in trained workers — and impose new demands on technical education all across America.