The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium is the creator of a comprehensive curriculum focused on Petroleum Reduction Technologies (PRT). The curriculum is part of the Clean Cities Learning Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Initiative. This fall, the NAFTC delivered this curriculum to locations across the country.

In November, NAFTC Project Manager Cathy Mezera traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to conduct a PRT training session.

The PRT sessions are primarily given over two days. The first day of the training, led by NAFTC’s Mezera, is specifically targeted at coordinators, who are then able to disseminate the provided information to broader audiences.

Day one of the Alabama training was held in a hotel near Lawson State Community College, an NAFTC national training center member. The curriculum for the first day of the training includes sections on each of the major alternative fuels, biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, and electric drive, as well as sections on fuel economy, idle reduction, fleet applications, and an overview of the importance of petroleum reduction technologies.

“The presented information gave the audience a very in-depth look at CNG and propane being used as transportation fuels,” said Guy Gafford, Alternative Fuels Instructor at Lawson State Community College.


Clean Cities coordinators gather after day one of the Birmingham, Alabama PRT training. Pictured from left to right: Mark Bentley, Jeremy Talbot, David Keefe, Margaret Smith, Don Francis, Rebecca Otte, Guy Gafford, Bart Comiskey, Atha Comiskey, Kevin Herdler, Kristy Keel-Blackmon, and Cathy Mezera. Credit: NAFTC.

The second day of the Alabama PRT training was held at Lawson State Community College, and was co-hosted by Mark Bentley, Executive Director of the Alabama Clean Cities Coalition, and Guy Gafford, Alternative Fuels Instructor at Lawson State.

Day two of the training was divided into two sessions: a morning session and an afternoon session. The morning session was designed specifically for fleet managers, stakeholders, and local and state municipal officials, and focused on natural gas and compressed natural gas (CNG).

Morning speakers included Dr. Perry Ward, President of Lawson State Community College, Bentley and Mezera, Mayor Gene Melton of the City of Trussville, Jeremy Talbot from Phoenix Energy Corporation, and Guy Gafford.

The afternoon session was designed for fleet managers, Clean Cities stakeholders, local and state officials, automotive students, and mechanics. The afternoon session focused on the importance of propane. Afternoon speakers included Tommy Hobbs of Lawson State Community College, Mark Bentley and Mezera, Buddy Gamel, President of Precision Sales and Service, and Guy Gafford.

This December, a PRT training was held at NAFTC national training center, Rio Hondo Community College, in Whittier, California. The two-day training, held on December 11 and 12, was conducted by Mezera of the NAFTC, Curtis Martin of Antelope Valley Clean Cities, and John Frala of Rio Hondo Community College.

California has long been acknowledged as a leader in the alternative fuel vehicle industry, and has embraced a range of alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrids, electric vehicles, and even hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The first day of the training was devoted to coordinators interested in learning more about petroleum reduction technologies. Since the training was held in California, its format was less like a traditional classroom set-up, and was held in a forum format. Experts interested in different facets of the alternative fuel vehicle industry were able to share their particular, specialized knowledge, and learn about other areas of interest in the field.

Rick Teebay, from the Los Angeles County Office of Sustainability, discussed different ways that the county is working on increasing its sustainability. One of the county’s strategies is to promote electric vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructure, which will help to decrease carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

Rick Sikes, from the City of Santa Monica, addressed natural gas fleet applications.

The next day of the training was developed for fleet managers, stakeholders, local and state municipal offices – and even college students. Although the college’s fall semester had ended four days earlier, several students did show up for the December 12 portion of the training, seeking an opportunity to network with industry experts.

Two representatives from the California Fuel Cell Partnership, an organization that promotes the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure, also participated in the training.

The training featured a fuel cell hybrid vehicle (FCHV) on display, as well as several vehicles from GM and Ford.




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