PCC educator earns national recognition

James CordovaPUEBLO – James Cordova, chair of the Pueblo Community College automotive technology program, was named educator of the year by the Electric Vehicle Association.

The EVA is a volunteer organization with chapters in the U.S. and Canada. The group “accelerates the adoption of electric vehicles by supporting its 100 chapters and thousands of members as they educate their communities about the benefits of driving electric,” according to its website.

Cordova will be honored Jan. 27 at the EVA annual meeting in Carlsbad, Calif.

Erik Lundeen, the electric vehicle program manager for Black Hills Energy, nominated Cordova for the award.

"James has created (a) National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence-certified EV technician program for students to learn how to work on electric vehicles. This program is the first of its kind in the state of Colorado and one of the first in the country,” Lundeen wrote in his nomination. “James pursued multiple grant and funding opportunities to build the program, write the curriculum and obtain electric vehicles, charging stations, training equipment, and specialty tools to build the program. (He) is truly an EV advocate and highly deserves to be recognized for his efforts."

Cordova emphasized the broad collaboration that was required to bring PCC’s new EV program to fruition. Meetings about the program’s development began before the COVID pandemic.

“It meant stepping out of our comfort zone into something so new, we were all starting from an even playing field,” Cordova said. “(This award) means recognition for Colorado – specifically, Pueblo – for the work that’s been done through collaboration among the college, community, businesses, government, public utilities and so many others.
“People didn’t expect this to come from Pueblo,” he added. “It’s changing the face of our program at the community, state and national level and providing significant earning potential for our students.”

Experienced EV technicians can earn more than $65,000 annually, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics. 
Adding the EV component to the automotive technology program required separate vehicles, equipment, tools, and safety training – “a huge undertaking,” said Cordova, that was accomplished because of the many partnerships and funding opportunities established over the past several years.

“I am so proud to call James Cordova my colleague,” said PCC President Patty Erjavec. “His willingness to take advantage of any opportunity to provide even greater student success is admirable. When the electric vehicle technology first emerged, James jumped on board and began building curriculum that would be prepare our students with the skills needed to meet these new industry demands.

“While clean energy is an evolving industry, PCC will be well prepared to offer the necessary education with James Cordova leading the way.”


Founded in 1933, Pueblo Community College is a premier teaching institution focused on providing academic and service excellence, without discrimination, to help its students acquire the 21st-century skills needed to better their lives. An educational and technological leader, PCC fosters economic development and utilizes strong partnerships in the communities it serves through its Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.

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