As most of us know, gas and diesel-fueled vehicles have negative environmental impacts. Air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and smog are just some examples. As the number of vehicles manufactured utilizing alternative clean fuel technologies grows, these detrimental environmental effects will be reduced significantly and we will see an improvement in our health and the quality of our air. The transportation industry is in a state of constant change and evolution, and as our supply of fossil fuels wanes and climate change issues mount, there has been a significant shift towards the use of alternative, cleaner fuels, which demands a more robust alternative fuels workforce.
The demands and requirements of the alternative fuels workforce are changing. Education will be essential to ensure that these individuals are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to stay current and be successful in the future. They will need to be prepared to break through technological barriers standing in the way of design and manufacture of economical, high-efficiency vehicles for our (U.S.) market.
The alternative fuels workforce has many components including those groups responsible for:
- Production of alternative fuels
- Alternative fuel distribution
- Manufacture of alternative fuel vehicles
- Design, development, and implementation of infrastructure necessary for alternative fueling
The staff who are responsible for maintenance and repair of vehicles, as well as those concerned with emergency response, are also important members of this labor force.
There are many resources available to learn about educational efforts and the availability of programs for training these groups. Many universities are offering multi-disciplinary graduate education programs designed to train the future clean fuel technology workers – automotive engineering professionals who will be heavily involved in designing and commercializing advanced automotive technologies.
There are opportunities for internships through the Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program which brings Clean Cities Coalitions like Rogue Valley together with students interested in being a part of the transformation of transportation in the U.S. These internships provide students with the opportunity to work on relevant, local projects and to be a part of raising the awareness of alternative clean fuels and the associated advanced vehicle technologies.
The Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition is focused on promoting and educating on clean fuel technologies. If you’d like to learn more or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.