Clean Cities Internship Program Helps Coalitions Throughout the Nation

This summer, more than 25 interns are spreading awareness of alternatives fuels and clean energy throughout the nation. Clean Cities, an EcoCAR Gold Sponsor, launched the Clean Cities Summer Internship program to assist local coalitions in the planning and implementation of events, research of alternative fuel usage, database analysis, and social media and media relations tasks.

Marcy Rood Werpy, Principal Transportation Environmental Analyst at Argonne National Laboratory and a former manager of Clean Cities, believes coalitions need new and creative ways to reach fleet managers and general consumers about these important issues.

“With the nation focused on a clean energy revolution, Clean Cities is at a pinnacle with significant opportunities to accelerate the market towards electric drive technologies, biofuels, natural gas and propane vehicles,” she said. “Local coalitions need resources or people power to get projects started, find additional fleet customers, and educate consumers about new vehicle technologies. Interns provide smart, energetic resources to coalitions needing to move ahead quickly.”

Clean Cities looked to Argonne National Laboratory to help oversee and execute the summer internship program. Dana Bubonovich, former Outreach Coordinator for Penn State, was brought on board to help oversee internship responsibilities for all 25 coalitions and act as a liaison between Argonne, the interns, and the coalition coordinators.

“Argonne is here to help the coalitions succeed in spreading awareness of clean energy,” said Bubonovich. “The interns are very bright and have already helped the coalitions tremendously. The coalitions are really impressed with what the interns can achieve.”

Another EcoCAR student is interning at the Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition (GLICCC) this summer.

EcoCAR team leader for the Embry-Riddle EcoEagles, Vincent Sabatini, accepted an internship with the GLICCC to assist in their mission of expanding the use of alternatives fuels, improving air quality, facilitating energy independence, and encouraging economic growth. The GLICC was officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy in October 1996, and is currently managing and funding CNG fleets and fueling stations through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Vince Sabatini talks to students about alternative fuels and clean energy

Vincent played a significant role in Embry-Riddle’s outreach activities throughout the last two years of EcoCAR. He was often the team’s spokesperson at offsite events and helped give tours of the lab for visitors. His dedication to his EcoCAR team and outreach activities impressed the coalition’s coordinator and landed him the internship with the GLICCC.

Vincent is currently working on updating the contact information for coalition stakeholders, public officials, media contacts, and fleet managers, as well as updating the coalition’s website. He is also developing a press packet for events such as station groundbreakings or grand openings, as well as the annual Advancing The Choice (ATC) Conference, which will be held on October 22, 2010.

“I really enjoy working with Clean Cities,” said Vincent. “It’s nice because I can take the outreach skills I learned at Embry-Riddle, mix it with my engineering background, and apply it to my internship. The internship really taught me to expand my horizons and I’ve become more well-rounded because of it.”