Moving On Up

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 Members Spotlight
Moving On Up

Making Connections during AAPEX Mobility Garage

By Professor John Frala, Rio Hondo College

Many of us involved automotive education maintain that students who have credentials related to alternative fuel vehicles will have additional advantages in the job market. As this market continues to expand, these credentials will become essential.

If my students did not believe that before, they sure do now. At Rio Hondo College, the Alternative Fuels Program trains students with real-life skills. In addition to mechanical and technical topics, students learn how to interview for jobs and how to market themselves on social media sites such as LinkedIn. These skills have paid off for a few new graduates from connections made at the AAPEX Mobility Garage. 

Horizon Education and I were part of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium’s Mobility Garage at the AAPEX Show in Las Vegas, from October 30 through November 1, 2018. We shared a booth displaying hydrogen vehicles and showcasing two associate of science degrees and the new certificate of achievement TESLA technician program. The booth also featured 3D models that attendees could build with an AA battery-sized fuel cell.

Young man seated at table working on a hydrogen-powered model car.

Ian Shaneyfelt, a high school student from Baton Rouge, works on a hydrogen-powered model car at the Rio Hondo College booth at AAPEX. Photo credit: John Frala.

Working the booth, I met a representative from Agility Fuels, and through our discussions, learned of job openings there. I sent information to my students and three of them arranged for a tour and possible interviews.

I went to the AAPEX Show as a way to highlight the Alternative Fuels Program at Rio Hondo College, and to provide a glimpse into the future of vehicle fuels. It was very gratifying while at the show to be part of placing students in careers in California 300 miles away.

Learn more about the Rio Hondo College Automotive Program by visiting: 

https://faculty.riohondo.edu/jfrala/

http://www.riohondo.edu/altfuels/

https://www.riohondo.edu/autotechbachelor/

UK Identifies Need for EV Trained Technicians

A 2018 study published by the Institute of the Motor Industry (United Kingdom) found that as many as 97 percent of currently employed mechanics aren’t qualified to work on electric vehicles. Compounding the problem is that the remaining three percent are typically employed by dealerships, significantly reducing customer service options. And the problem isn’t just in the U.K., a similar situation can found in the more than 160,000 independent auto repair facilities in the U.S.  

Source: Clean Technica