New Flyer will add an electrical technician training program in the continued pursuit of enabling the new mobility era. The program, based on MCI Academy, will provide high-demand electrical skills as industry EV adoption surges.
The additional training available for Motor Coach Industries (MCI) customers is part of NFI Group Inc.’s announcement that the New Flyer of America Inc. subsidiary has launched its Electrical Technician Training Program (ETTP).
The ETTP — launched initially in New Flyer’s facilities in Crookston and St. Cloud, Minnesota — is a program encompassing classroom and on-the-job training, and providing employees with knowledge and skills to continue leading and supporting zero-emission adoption across North America. The program, whose module development leveraged existing programming from NFI subsidiary MCI, is intended for expansion and launch across NFI’s other major manufacturing facilities in the future.
The purpose of the ETTP is to provide entry-level training for new employees and to help existing employees upskill and reskill through the industry’s accelerating transition to zero-emission propulsion.
The training program dovetails with increased demand for advanced zero-emission bus manufacturing and serves as a skills development pipeline to help employees reach the Senior Electrical Technician role.
The program includes five preparatory modules and two levels of training. Training levels include “Red” and “Blue” certifications, respectively indicating Electrical Technician 1 and Electrical Technician 2, which are earned upon training completion.
“Ultimately, the ETTP launch in Minnesota serves as a model for development and implementation of like programs across our major manufacturing facilities,” said Janice Harper, Executive Vice President for People and Culture at NFI. “Program expansion is already underway and will roll out later this year and throughout 2022. This program is timely and exciting for our team and the industry as a whole — directly meeting workforce development needs and developing critically needed skills to enable the new mobility era.”
The ETTP includes intensive learning content through modules incorporating electrical theory and components, bus systems and troubleshooting, including high-voltage safety training, zero-emission propulsion, customer option systems and extensive hands-on practical skills development.
“By the time an employee has fulfilled all program requirements, they will have completed 64 hours of classroom learning and over 3,600 hours” of on-the-job training, said Chris Stoddart, President for North American Bus and Coach at NFI. “This is in addition to the 150,000 hours of training completed annually across the New Flyer team. Continued learning is critical for advancing zero-emission deployment, which is why workforce development remains one of four important pillars in our mobility solutions offering.”
NFI is a leader in zero-emission mobility, with electric vehicles operating — or on order — in more than 80 cities in five countries. NFI offers the widest range of zero-emission battery- and fuel-cell-electric buses and coaches, and its vehicles have completed more than 40 million EV service miles.
The manufacturer supports growing North American cities with scalable, clean and sustainable mobility solutions through a four-pillar approach that includes buses and coaches, technology, infrastructure and workforce development.
NFI also operates the Vehicle Innovation Center (VIC), dedicated to advancing bus and coach technology and providing workforce development. Since opening late 2017, the VIC has hosted more than 300 interactive events, welcoming 4,000 industry professionals for EV and infrastructure training.