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NAFTC partners in Rural Reimagined project

Fairmont, W.Va. - On November 22, 2022 the Fairmont-Marion County Transit Authority held an event with some of the Rural Reimagined project members.

The event featured an unveiling of FMCTA’s newest fleet vehicle, a brand new Ford E-Transit electric bus. This new EV highlights FMCTA’s initiative to increase electric vehicle awareness in the region.

The funds to purchase the EV bus were provided by Tennessee Tech as part of the Rural Reimagined project, aimed  promote the increased adoption of electric vehicles, support infrastructure to provide charging for those vehicles, to encourage the availability of electric vehicles in rural areas and “spur green economy development around transportation electrification.

It's Time to Adapt!

By: Times West Virginia

First WV Public Transit Electric Van

by: Trevelyn Hall

About the Rural Reimagined Project:

The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) at the West Virginia University Energy Institute will develop and disseminate a safety-focused EV training program to develop the auto and diesel technician workforce in Appalachia that will be required to support the adoption of EVs. NAFTC will implement its proven train-the-trainer approach to disseminate the training.

Curriculum Development:

Four NAFTC member community and technical colleges with ties to Appalachia will develop the educational materials. NAFTC’s existing EV materials will form the basis for the curriculum development. Other experts within the NAFTC membership will be invited to provide input about their EV programs and the materials they use. The curriculum development team will adapt existing materials, identify gaps, and develop new content as required. These materials include textbooks, workbooks, PowerPoint slides, tests, and aids such as videos and animations within the constraints of the budget. While there generally remains a lack of agreed upon standards for all EV education, and it is beyond the scope of this proposal to establish such standards, to the extent that standards have been proposed by others, the NAFTC team will consider how those standards may be incorporated into the materials. The curriculum will be designed to allow its use in traditional college programs as well as for workshops for in-service technicians. The materials will be designed to be available in print and digitally.

Curriculum Dissemination:

On average, five community and technical colleges (CTCs) with automotive or diesel programs located in the Appalachian counties of the five participating states will be recruited to receive the training in a three-to-five day train-the-trainer workshop.

CTCs that that serve students who live in Appalachian counties may also be considered. Two instructors per institution will be invited to attend for a total of 25 institutions and 50 instructors receiving the training. The program will provide partial support for travel costs for those who are invited to participate.

Additionally, NAFTC members nationwide will have the opportunity to join the train-the-trainer workshops at their own expense on a space-available basis. The workshops will be team taught by one instructor each from two of the NAFTC members who designed/developed the curriculum. Workshops may be held at the NAFTC curriculum development team members’ institution or may be hosted at one of the schools recruited for participation.

Project Plan:

Budget Period 1 (15 months) will focus on a review of available curriculum by the NAFTC team leading to development of a beta version of curriculum to be beta tested in the fifth quarter of the budget period.

Budget Period 2 (12 months) will focus on final revisions, the recruitment of 25 CTCs in the region to participate in the train-the-trainer program, and the launch of the training effort. Budget Period 3 (12 months) will focus on the completion of the train-the-trainer program and the collection of information from the CTCs who participated about how the training is being used at their institutions.

Also, in budget period 3, NAFTC will establish a clearinghouse for coordinating workshops for fleets by the trained institutions under a fee-based system to allow the NAFTC and the participating training institutions to recover their costs for conducting such training which is beyond the scope of the proposed effort.

The Participants:

NAFTC headquarters staff at WVU, including the NAFTC Interim Director as co-PI, a Director of EV Programs, a multimedia specialist, and a business specialist, will coordinate the overall effort and will be responsible for contributing materials, providing graphic design and layout for print and online texts, developing digital training aids, monitoring progress, reporting, and tracking the budget.

The co-PI will serve as the point of contact, coordinating with the project lead, Prof. Pingen Chen, at Tennessee Tech University on project management, meeting, and reporting and coordination with other workforce development efforts of the overarching project.

One member of the WVU faculty who specializes in STEM curriculum design and development will be responsible for contributing to the text including technical writing and editing support and to the design of training aids in collaboration with the NAFTC curriculum team members.

NAFTC member Columbus State Community College of Ohio will act as the lead of the curriculum team. CSCC will work with the project co-PI to identify three more partner NAFTC schools to join the effort as subject matter experts (SMEs)-content providers-reviewers.

CSCC will work closely with the NAFTC Project Director to specify the overall goals and objectives and design of the curriculum, and for organizing the development effort and the train-the-trainer plan which the Project Director will execute.

The curriculum development team will be responsible for the technical content for the light-, medium- and heavy-duty EV curriculum. NAFTC members with ties to Appalachia will be foremost among the recruits, for example, Owensboro Community and Technical College in Kentucky and Central Piedmont Community College, a Tesla START school, in NC.


The NAFTC is a program of the Energy Institute at West Virginia University.