The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) recently hosted a group of Polish researchers and scientists who are interested in energy-related issues.

The Polish delegation from the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program on Sept. 9 visited the NAFTC headquarters in Morgantown, W.Va., thanks to a partnership with WV Global Visitors.

“West Virginia University was selected for a visit because of its work in energy research,” said Bill Davis, NAFTC assistant director of operations. “All of them are involved in energy issues in Poland, whether in education, government or trade organizations.”

Following Davis’ presentation about the NAFTC and its program, the members of the Polish delegation participated in a question-and-answer session with Davis and other staff members.

“They asked very insightful questions,” Davis noted. “We discussed the energy required to produce electricity and the charging stations used with electric drive vehicles.”

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NAFTC Assistant Director of Operations Bill Davis, left, discusses the organization’s Chevy Volt with members of the Polish delegation that visited WVU Sept. 9. Credit: NAFTC

The Polish delegation also viewed the NAFTC’s Chevy Volt, giving them a first-hand demonstration of an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV).

“We left open the potential for future contact with the Polish delegation,” Davis added. “They were especially interested in our partnerships with colleges across the United States and the workforce development that goes along with those.”

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NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron, far left, and Assistant Director of Operations Bill Davis, far right, meet with members of the Polish delegation that visited WVU Sept. 9. Credit: NAFTC

WV Global Visitors and the Polish delegation expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to visit the NAFTC.

“WV Global Visitors welcomes every opportunity to increase awareness of the Morgantown area and WVU and build connections with our guests and their countries of origin,” said Cecilia Orrego, special program coordinator for international visits.

According to the WV Global Visitors website, since August 2010, West Virginia University has teamed with a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit to secure a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to engage international companies, organizations and individuals in a variety of initiatives that will bolster economic development in West Virginia.

WVU and GlobalPittsburgh are combining efforts to bring new opportunities to West Virginia by hosting increased numbers of international visitors to the region. The goal is to increase international awareness and student recruitment, as well as active partnerships that might lead to increased regional economic development.

WVU provides staff support to coordinate international visitors for the university and its partners in academic, cultural and economic endeavors. The grant enables better integration among university units and outreach to various resources in the region.

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