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OCTC Receives NSF Grant for Alternative Fuels Initiative

Owensboro Community amp; Technical College has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the amount of $745,602 for support of a project entitled "Preparing Vehicle Technicians for Advanced Transportation Fuels (DUE 1400422)." The project, under the direction of OCTCs Southeastern Campus Director, Mike Rodgers, and Automotive Faculty, Keith Nall, begins September 1, 2014 and runs through August 31, 2017.

OCTC President, Dr. Jim Klauber commented, This project was an idea that began with the Cobra project. We knew we were just scraping the surface by adding in the alternative fuel components. Once we got started, the need to offer additional curriculum and training options was apparent. This grant will help expand those offerings for our students and for future students.

The grant project demonstrates the potential to benefit society by preparing the 21st century workforce in Kentucky and the nation to be knowledgeable of the evolving technologies transforming the transportation industry by providing training in advanced transportation technologies and alternative fuels to community college students in OCTCs automotive and diesel technology training programs; exposing high school students, particularly those underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), to the high-tech field of automotive and diesel technology through summer academy offerings, thus promoting a pipeline of diverse technicians; providing training leading to an industry-endorsed certification in alternative fuels technologies to current workers employed in transportation industries in Kentucky; providing professional development training in advances in the automotive and diesel technician industry to high school and two-year college instructors who teach in STEM areas; and promoting increased public engagement and awareness of science and technology used in the transportation industry to citizens in Kentucky and surrounding states through hosting a National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Odyssey.

Rodgers added, This grant will allow OCTC to continue its growth in transportation education and further include innovative technology in its curriculum for the benefit of the students, community, and industry partners. This is the first program that we know of in the country to offer all the alternative fuel options which will allow the students to develop the advanced skillset needed for success in the transportation industry today.