The 42nd North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) conference was held at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois, July 20-24. A welcome reception was held at the host hotel on Sunday evening, July 19 to help jump-start the week’s events. Over 200 automotive instructors from the United States and Canada attend this yearly event. The most important feature of this conference is that it includes more than 20 hours of update training required by instructors whose program is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Federation (NATEF). The update technical and educational seminars presented by vendors, technical trainers or even the members themselves all at no cost to the organization. A typical day at NACAT included:
- Breakfast at the hotel and then travel to the college for the first session, which started at 8 am.
- Coffee break from 10:00-10:30 AM allowing time to talk to others between sessions.
- Second technical/educational session was held from 10:30-12:00 noon.
- Lunch on your own at the college café from 12:00-1:00 pm.
- 1:00-2:30 pm- The third technical/educational session.
- 2:30-3:00 pm- Break that usually included great cookies and other waist-busting food, as well as bottled water and soft drinks.
- 3:00-5:00 pm- The fourth technical/educational session of the day.
- The evenings were also planned (except for Monday evening) and included a BBQ on Tuesday evening, the trade show with pizza on Wednesday evening and the banquet on Thursday evening.
The trade show, held Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, was setup in the huge shop area of the automotive department at Joliet Junior College, which was air conditioned and well lighted with LED overhead lighting. The trade show had vendors from most of the suppliers of automotive service equipment and training aids, as well as all of the automotive textbook publishers. Pearson Education had a booth located in a high-travel area and had many instructors stop by to see the latest editions of the automotive professional technician series texts.
The conference ended Friday morning with a closing business meeting.
The NACAT conference will be held at San Jacinto College, in Pasadena, Texas which is near Houston, the third week in July of 2016.
Editors’ Note – This is a guest post by Jim Halderman, an esteemed automotive repair textbook author and contributor toAdamsAutoAdvice.com.