And, no, it isn’t a bridge in Brooklyn, nor do I need your social security number or mother’s maiden name. I’m talking about a new offer we have for any NAFTC member school that wants to bring alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) training to their location, to educate their school’s instructors about how to teach specific AFV topics, to service their community by offering classes to in-service automotive technicians, and to bring some income into their school’s automotive program.
With the demands our member school automotive instructors have during their standard academic calendar, adding training sessions open to the public can be difficult to accomplish. Addressing this issue, the NAFTC recently launched a program that takes much of the worry out of these efforts through the development of a training partnership between your school and the NAFTC, with the NAFTC doing most of the heavy lifting.
Here are more details, using a hypothetical example to illustrate:
Your school is interested in learning more about propane vehicles, and you want to get your automotive instructors through an NAFTC “train-the-trainer” instructor class. You also believe there would be local automotive dealers/technicians/mechanics who would be interested in this topic.
For this scenario, let’s say the overhead cost of bringing NAFTC staff, training equipment, travel, manuals, and, of course, our AFV training expert to your school for this propane technician class comes to $3,000.
Now the NAFTC is offering a plan which would save your school the cost of the training by opening the class to the public and charging the additional students to attend. If two technicians sign up for the training at $1,500 each (or three for $1,000 each), the cost of holding this class has been met.
Here’s where the three-way partnership comes into play. For each additional seat sold, the profit from the sale will be split equally between your institution, the NAFTC, and our national trainer. Our national trainer, now an independent contractor, would use his connections to recruit attendees, the NAFTC would market the class nationally, and we would also encourage our friends in the Clean Cities Coalition to advertise it regionally. Your school, with your industry connections, would advertise it directly to the area you serve.
For the 3-day propane training cited, we typically like the class to have a maximum of 20 attendees. The remaining open 17 slots in this scenario would bring in, at $1,500 per enrollee, $27,000 in profit. Divided three ways, this brings in more than $9,000 for each partner (your school, the NAFTC, and the trainer).
Again, these are hypothetical numbers. The farther you live from the NAFTC headquarters in Morgantown, West Virginia, the more the travel costs will be. If you’re near a major airport, the flight for our trainer will be cheaper. Each situation is slightly different but the concept is the same: cover the costs and split the profits beyond that break-even point. If a few weeks before the date of the training we as a team decide we do not have enough participation to hold the class, we can cancel or postpone until we do have enough interest to cover the cost.
The additional revenue—a valuable commodity in these tight fiscal times—is an obvious benefit from this arrangement. We hope that schools might see this as an opportunity to cover the cost of their NAFTC membership and travel to our Expos through the hosting of only one class, but this would be up to you. Consider also that promoting this event could bring attention to your program. You could even use the event to recruit interested students.
The true benefit will be for your school—at no cost—to get your instructors trained to teach a new AFV topic. You can place as many instructors into the class as you wish, as we don’t plan on counting the host school’s attendees toward the classroom count. In fact, we hope they’ll be up front co-teaching with Mark Schmidt, our national trainer!
We are very excited about this idea and believe it’s a terrific way to bring timely AFV education to your community with minimal risk to all parties involved. I would be delighted to discuss the specific training that might be good in your area. Contact me at (304) 293-7882 or e-mail Micheal.Smyth@mail.wvu.edu.
Yours in partnerships!