Members of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) recently converged upon the nation’s capital for the latest Professional Development Meeting.

Held March 21-23 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, the event featured a sneak peek into some of the NAFTC’s newest opportunities for online learning and hands-on training.

ICS Learning Group Vice President Ernie Wagner on March 22 demonstrated to the members in attendance how the NAFTC’s new learning management system (LMS) will work.

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ICS Learning Group Vice President Ernie Wagner discusses the NAFTC’s learning management system. Credit: NAFTC

“He showed the capabilities of the system and how it can be tailored to each member’s need, including how they can use it for branding,” explained NAFTC Assistant Director – Training and Curriculum Development Micheal Smyth. “Not only can instructors use it for online courses, but they can also manage all the courses they teach through this system.”

The NAFTC is working with ICS to develop the LMS, which will host upcoming online courses under the U.S. Department of Energy-funded Advanced Electric Drive (AED) Vehicle Education Program.

During the March 23 activities, Toyota technical trainer Chris Peterson gave a presentation about the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid, also discussing the other members of the Prius family.

“He explained the technology behind the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, such as the lithium-ion battery,” Smyth noted. “During the hands-on portion when were outside looking at the vehicle, Chris also fielded questions from passers-by who had never seen a Prius Plug-in Hybrid.”

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Toyota technical trainer Chris Peterson gives a presentation about the Prius Plug-in Hybrid during the NAFTC’s professional development meeting. Credit: NAFTC

In addition, Jack Rosebro from Perfect Sky, Inc. offered a first look into one of the learning activities that will be a part of the Electric Drive Vehicle Automotive Technician Training, a curriculum that is currently being developed under the AED program.

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Jack Rosebro, left, explains the learning activity to NAFTC members during the professional development session he conducted. Credit: NAFTC

“Jack had available six Toyota Prius motors in different states of failure,” Smyth said. “Through visual, manual and electronic inspection, the participants diagnosed the problems. This learning activity will actually be a part of the Automotive Technician Training, which will debut to our members in late summer or early fall.”

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NAFTC Assistant Director – Training and Curriculum Development Micheal Smyth, second from left, works with NAFTC members, from left, Kent Johnson, Alfred State College; Ernie Packer, Northern Virginia Community College; and Eric Erskin, Ivy Tech Community College – Lafayette, during an electric vehicle learning activity. Credit: NAFTC

Also during the event, NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron provided an overall organizational update. Smyth discussed current progress on curricula and training, while NAFTC Assistant Director – Communications and Outreach Judy Moore spoke about marketing and communications items, including an overview of National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey, which is scheduled for Oct. 18.

Finally, attendees had the chance to tour the United States Capitol and other Washington, D.C., landmarks.

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NAFTC staff members and consortium members tour the U.S. Capitol. Credit: NAFTC

View this video to hear two professional development participants’ testimonials about the training they received.

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