Lisa Katz| Crain’s Detroit Blog

Imagine a 2003 Mustang GT Street Legal Muscle Car. Now imagine it with only a 4- or 6-cylindar engine. Federal CAFE standards require fleet-wide fuel economy standards to achieve 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016. Some experts have speculated that increasingly rigorous standards will toll the death knell for lower-fuel economy vehicles, including collector/pleasure vehicles like the Mustang, known and loved for engines that roar, not purr.

But other industry experts think that car lovers can have their powerful engines and drive them too. Daryl Patrishkoff is CEO and chief engineer for performance compressed natural gas (CNG) at The Center for Professional Studies. Performance CNG, LLC does design, engineer, build, validation and production launch of CNG Bi-Fuel vehicles. At a Nov. 8 meeting focused on future trends in Green Mobility, Patrishkoff will show off a 2003 Mustang GT Street Legal Muscle Car converted to a bi-fuel configuration that runs on gasoline and CNG, both with alcohol injection. (The car has 470 horse power at the rear wheels.)

Patrishkoff and his team are busting the myth that there must be a reduction in horsepower when driving in CNG mode. He adds that CNG outputs the same fuel performance as gasoline, spews 20 percent to 30 percent less emissions, and is abundantly available in the United States, creating a path to energy independence from foreign oil.

At the same meeting, representatives from Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler will demonstrate their own vehicles, underscoring the point that U.S. automakers have the methods and the means to meet CAFE standards without necessarily compromising on many of aspects that Americans love most about their cars. What is at the heart of automakers’ abilities to successfully meet CAFE standards and meet changing market demands for more fuel-efficient cars? According to several leading automotive technology experts, the answer is talent.

Each of these firms is part of an initiative called the Michigan Academy for Green Mobility Alliance (MAGMA), co-chaired by GM and Chrysler. MAGMA’s mission is to provide rapid skill growth in green technology solutions for advanced mobility to meet industry needs. This is accomplished by preparing individuals for emerging technologies in vehicle propulsion and vehicle component design, manufacturing, and maintenance through rapid/accelerated training and re-training.

MAGMA endorses education and training based on the occupations, skills, and knowledge required by employers to design, develop, and manufacture next generation vehicles. The focus is on efficiently and effectively up-skilling the Michigan workforce to prepare them for new jobs in green mobility and retain existing jobs affected by the drive for improved fuel economy and less environmental impact. Without these workers, innovations like the “green” Mustang and several other innovative vehicles would not be possible.

Since MAGMA was formed in 2009, its members have endorsed a number of programs and courses, according to their ability to address employer-defined skills critical to green mobility jobs. MAGMA has leveraged over $4.3 million to support training in advanced energy storage, hybrid electric battery engineering, and vehicle electrification. MAGMA-endorsed or supported courses trained over 800 individuals from 2009-2012.

A January 2012 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study examined 14 local initiatives listed by experts as among the most promising or innovative efforts in which local workforce boards collaborated with employers, education providers, and other partners to achieve positive results. The results of the study demonstrated an increased supply of skilled labor and job placements and a decrease in employer recruitment and turnover costs, as well as averted layoffs. MAGMA was one of the 14 promising or innovative efforts included in the GAO Study. Specifically, MAGMA was highlighted for its engagement of employers to identify shared workforce needs and develop innovative solutions to address those needs. MAGMA forged greater collaboration among education and training providers which resulted in adjustment of course content in response to shifting industry needs.

At the aforementioned Nov. 8 meeting, MAGMA members plan to reach out to new potential partner companies and education and training institutions, sharing information about new trends in green mobility, including the implications for talent needs tied to factors like vehicle lightweighting, alternative fuels and fuel systems, fleet integration and more. Partners also will discuss future priorities and action steps for MAGMA.

A central meeting focus will be how green mobility poses future opportunities for industry partners to capture market share and create more jobs for Southeast Michigan workers. Because of the ingenuity and innovation of those workers, CAFE has opened the door to new opportunities for industry, not closed them, as some naysayers have forecast. Today, Michigan is in the running for new federal investments that will help spur the industry further, good news for employers and jobseekers alike.

Businesses and education and training providers who are interested in attending the November 8 meeting can learn more by contacting

NOTE: The Workforce Intelligence Network has recently assumed the role of convener and facilitator for MAGMA. The State of Michigan Workforce Development Agency, which founded the initiative, had undertaken the role since 2008.

“Future Trends in Green Mobility”

Hosted by Michigan Academy for Green Mobility Alliance (MAGMA)

When: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Nov. 8

Where: Macomb Community College – South Campus, K-Building – Room #324, 14500 E. 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088.



Lisa Katz, Executive Director, Workforce Intelligence Network


Dr. Jay Baron, President & CEO, Center for Automotive Research


Part I: OEM perspectives on green mobility trends

  • Randall Champagne, Hybrid Engineering Project Manager, General Motors Corporation
  • Tony Tisler, Electrified Powertrain Program Manager – Software and Controls, Chrysler Group
  • MavaMarie Vandervennet, Technical Training Manager, Ford Motor Company

Part II: Other frontiers in green mobility

  • Philip Dingle, US Research & Advanced Projects Manager, Delphi Diesel Systems
  • AT&T on green mobility fleet integration
  • Daryl Patrishkoff, CEO, The Center for Professional Studies


  • Bob Feldmaier, Director, Center for Advanced Automotive Technology, Macomb Community College
  • Kevin Perry, Global Manager, Professional Development, SAE International
  • Dr. Jeff Naber, Professor, ME-EM Department, Director, Advanced Power Systems Research Center, Michigan Technological University
  • Gene Liao, Director, Electric Transportation Technology Program Professor
    Engineering Technology Div., Wayne State University


Lisa Katz, Workforce Intelligence Network

NETWORKING, LUNCH 12:00 – 12:15


Share On