The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) has now conducted two webinars for the Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program interns, all the while premiering the Clean Cities Learning Program (CCLP) Petroleum Reduction Technologies (PRT) curriculum, currently under development.
The PRT curriculum is designed to raise awareness and foster a greater understanding of alternative fuels, alternative fuel vehicles, advanced technology vehicles, petroleum reduction technologies, fuel economy, idle reduction and related technologies. It will feature workshops on biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas, propane, electric drive vehicles, hydrogen, fuel economy and idle reduction, and is scheduled for completion in spring 2012.
CCLP is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Program, and NAFTC Project Manager Cathy Mezera explained that the webinars are serving as a way to introduce Clean Cities interns to alternative fuels as well as alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.
“The PRT curriculum is targeted toward a general audience who is interested in learning more about the world of alternative fuels,” she noted. “Therefore, it is the perfect fit for Clean Cities interns who may need an introduction to the fuels, vehicles and technologies the curriculum addresses.”
A webinar on biodiesel took place Nov. 10, while a natural gas webinar occurred Dec. 5.
“Both webinars helped the students and Clean Cities coordinators learn more about the history of those alternative fuels, how the fuel is made, fun facts and more,” said Dana Bubonovich, Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions Communications and Logistics Coordinator. “It was really helpful and very insightful to attend the webinars. The students really appreciated the breadth of knowledge that was presented.”
According to the Clean Cities website, the internships through the Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program unite Clean Cities coalitions with students interested in changing the future of on-road transportation and in promoting alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles.
Each year, interns work with Clean Cities coalitions to increase awareness of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies and their potential for petroleum savings. Interns work with coordinators and their stakeholders to plan events, analyze data, research markets, design websites and promote initiatives through social media and public relations.
“The students within the program all come from different backgrounds,” Bubonovich added. “Some come from a communications and business background, some from science, some from liberal arts, and more. The webinars were a great example that adhered to all backgrounds.”
Examples of local internship projects include planning and implementing the NAFTC’s National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey every other October, conducting fleet manager meetings and working with campus fleet managers to promote using clean vehicle technologies.
“Overall, the webinars were a great learning tool for the students,” Bubonovich concluded. “They can now use what they learned and take that information back to their Clean Cities coalition, stakeholders, public and more.”