In celebration of February as National Career and Technical Education Month, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) and the Monongalia County Technical Education Center (MTEC) formalized their long-time collaboration by signing a resolution.
During a meeting Feb. 25 at MTEC, NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron and MTEC Principal John George signed a resolution recognizing the career and technical school as an Associate Training Center member of the consortium.
“The NAFTC is excited to partner with MTEC, a new local ally in the nationwide quest for cleaner air and energy independence,” Ebron said. “This is a great opportunity for West Virginia University, through the NAFTC, to support MTEC as they implement training in their school for new technologies.”
The NAFTC’s Associate Training Centers include secondary schools, while National Training Centers consist of postsecondary institutions such as community colleges and four-year universities. All of these form of a network of training centers that provide alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle courses and workshops.
“By joining our consortium, MTEC will have the option of adding new areas of training to their automotive and electrical departments,” Ebron added. “They will receive additional technology resources and assistance from the NAFTC, like we provide to all our members.”
While Ebron is proud to have 50 training centers nationwide, he also pointed out that growing the NAFTC’s work in its home state of West Virginia is important to educating the workforce.
“By offering new courses and activities in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, MTEC will be training future electricians and automotive technicians,” Ebron said. “Our partnership with MTEC will help West Virginians seek out jobs in the ‘green’ sector of the transportation industry.”
George expressed his excitement about becoming an NAFTC member, noting that MTEC has participated in National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey events, as well as collaborating with the NAFTC on other special events and activities. Alternative fuels are not new to MTEC. During the 2001-2002 academic year, MTEC became involved in the EV (Electrical Vehicle) Challenge. The EV Challenge, which was renamed SMARTT (Students Making Advancements in Renewable Transportation Technology) Challenge in 2007, is a national competition that helps promote the use of electrical vehicles.
“We have enjoyed Odyssey events and exhibiting at the NAFTC’s Odyssey on the West Virginia University campus,” George said. “It has also been beneficial to our faculty and students to welcome Al Ebron as a guest speaker at our open houses and other activities. We are looking forward to taking advantage of the excellent alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle training that the NAFTC offers and incorporating it into our programs.”