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New Clean Energy Workforce Training Program From Biden-Harris Admin

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Provides $72 Million to Strengthen the Clean Energy Jobs Pipeline Through Community Colleges, Trade Schools, and Union Training Programs to Mitigate Climate Change and Cut Costs for Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden–Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), this week announced its intent to invest up to $72 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand the Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) Program. This will establish up to five regional Centers of Excellence and create new IACs at trade schools, community colleges, and union training programs. Investments announced this week will also go towards new Building Training Assessment Centers (BTACs) for workforce development to support energy efficiency and emissions reductions in commercial and institutional buildings. Together they will help achieve the Biden–Harris Administration’s commitment to a clean energy workforce that represents the diversity of America and a reinvigorated domestic manufacturing base prepared to lead the global clean energy transition.

“One way that DOE is investing in the next generation of workers who will lead our clean energy transition is by creating training opportunities at community colleges, trade schools and union programs,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The President’s Agenda is allowing DOE to expand our collaboration with education centers across the country to train a clean energy workforce is diverse, qualified, and prepared to position America as a global leader in clean energy manufacturing.”

For more than four decades, the IAC Program has trained future energy engineers by providing no-cost, hands-on assessments to small- and medium-sized manufacturing facilities (SMMs) recommending measures to save energy, increase productivity, and optimize operations. Since its inception, the IAC Program has provided more than 20,000 assessments at SMMs, which comprise more than 90% of the nation’s manufacturing base. IACs typically identify more than $130,000 in potential annual savings opportunities for every manufacturer assessed. Today, DOE-supported IACs exist at 37 universities in 28 states across the country.

The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law supports a historic expansion of the IAC Program. With this expansion, DOE intends for the IAC Program to serve as a national network for clean energy workforce development while maximizing productivity and reducing emissions in domestic manufacturing. Similar to the IAC program, the new Building Training Assessment Center (BTAC) Program will provide workforce training to support energy efficiency improvements and emissions reductions in commercial and institutional buildings.

Funding Opportunity Announcement for IAC Regional Centers of Excellence 

DOE this week is announcing the availability of $18.75 million to establish up to five regional Centers of Excellence from among the highest-performing existing IACs. The selected centers will serve as regional hubs for the IAC Program, advising other IACs and collaborating with government, nonprofit, labor, and industry actors to support small- and medium-sized manufacturers in their respective regions. Applications are due on February 17, 2023.

Notice of Intent to Create New IACs and BTACs 

DOE this week issued a notice of intent (NOI) to invest $54 million through a future funding opportunity announcement to create IACs at community colleges, trade schools and union training programs, and to establish BTACs. These new IACs and BTACs will build upon the demonstrated success of applied learning environments and hands-on training approaches of existing IACs while drawing on the unique strengths, geographic reach, and faculty/student composition of trade schools, community colleges, and union training programs. The new IACs will focus on training workforce by providing hands-on support to small and medium manufactures. BTAC students and trainees will conduct critical energy efficiency assessments and upgrades to improve the environmental performance of commercial and institutional buildings. Consistent with the Justice40 Initiative, the programs will provide services in areas that have been historically underserved and underfunded.

Learn more about both announcements by visiting DOE’s Offices of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains and State and Community Energy Programs.

Courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy

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