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Bridgemont and Kanawha Converts team up for CNG efforts at Tech Park

PrintThe Kanawha Converts Consortium is pleased to announce that Bridgemont Community and Technical College and the West Virginia University National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) have begun training at the Tech Park in South Charleston.

This week, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, the WVU NAFTC will be conducting classes focusing on light duty natural gas vehicles and compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system inspection. Topics discussed during the class include:

  • Understanding theory, equipment, safety and good work practices
  • Developing a working knowledge of the types of cylinders and fuel system components used in CNG vehicle systems
  • Visually inspecting CNG cylinders and fuel system components for damage and deterioration.

Bridgemont President Jo Harris said their workforce team partnered with the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) to provide this five-day training seminar. She said that 16 individuals are attending, which include diesel technology faculty from Bridgemont, local automotive dealers and city, county and state government representatives.

Funding for the seminar was made available through a grant from the West Virginia Community and Technical College system and the Kanawha Converts Consortium project of the Kanawha County Commission.

“The NAFTC is a pioneer and a national leader in promoting programs and activities that desire to cure America’s addiction to oil, and lead to energy independence and the greater use of clean transportation and energy, “ Harris said. “It is the only nationwide alternative fuel vehicle and advanced technology vehicle training organization in the United States. This type of training can continue to set the building blocks of this already growing industry.”

In January, IGS Energy CNG Services announced an investment to build CNG stations along the I-79 Corridor, which has spurred an excitement to develop a qualified workforce to maintain these alternative fueled vehicles.

“We don’t want to send these vehicles to Oklahoma or Texas to get inspected or converted. The drilling, conversion, fueling and maintenance for these vehicles can all be done in West Virginia,“ Harris said. “This training can help create jobs and provide skills and training that can be built upon to help individuals take advantage of the growing alternative fuel vehicles industry.”

Matthew Ballard, president and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance, said Kanawha Converts is ahead of the curve in natural gas transportation. The Alliance was tasked with leading Kanawha Converts when leading the consortium was created by the county commission in January 2012.

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