Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm Hosts I.A.C Round Table

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is hosted a roundtable on March 8, 2021 to discuss how the Department’s Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) are helping small- and medium-sized manufacturers improve energy efficiency, create jobs, and reduce their carbon footprints.

Roundtable participants:

  • Hannah Atkins, Technology Engineer, Clearon Corporation (West Virginia)
  • Brian DeLuca, Director, New Jersey Clean Energy Program, Commercial & Industrial Programs, TRC Companies (New Jersey)
  • Marco Gonzalez, Corporate Energy Manager, Waupaca Foundry (Wisconsin)
  • Dr. Sachin Nimbalkar, Group Leader, Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Research & Analysis Group, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Tennessee)
  • Farah Nourin, Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee IAC team (Wisconsin)
  • Dr. Julie Sieving, Co-Director, University of Utah IAC and advisory board member, IAC Women for Energy Efficiency (WE2) initiative (Utah)
  • John Smegal, IAC Program Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (Washington, D.C.)

Key Takeaways:

  • New administration is committed to advance diversity equity and inclusion in STEM and the entire clean energy workforce, making workforce training, such as the IAC program, more important now than ever.
  • People in construction, skilled trades and engineering vital to new administration’s plan to building a new American infrastructure and clean energy economy while supporting workers affected by the energy transition.
  • “When I was Governor of Michigan, I saw firsthand how a strong manufacturing sector is so utterly vital to our economy.” – Sec. Granholm
  • “The IACs are a perfect example of how we can work with the private sector to deliver on these goals of creating jobs and training people and by the way reap the business benefits at the same time.” – Sec. Granholm
  • IAC Program has now conducted nearly 20,000 assessments at no cost to the manufacturers covering every single state in the country.
  • 500 current students in the IAC program across 31 active centers and 6 satellite centers.
  • Sec. Granholm announces that the “DOE is making available up to 52.5 million dollars over the next 5 years for the next group of IACs” expanding the program through the largest investment in this program’s history.”
  • The DOE is also looking to develop a workforce that looks like America, so through this funding opportunity we are launching a pilot program to expand our partnership with technical programs and community colleges in order to have a diverse mix of students with all levels of education.
  • This past 5-year period, the IAC Program focused on cybersecurity, energy management systems and wastewater.
  • For this next 5-year period, the IAC identified 3 new additional areas we’re going to be looking at: decarbonization, grid resiliency and workforce development with a particular focus on “expanding participation within our context of minority serving institutions and other partners that expand participation of underrepresented groups within the STEM environment.” – Smegal
  • The new center application process includes that they submit a diversity and inclusion plan.
  • There are currently a number of HSIs in engaged as satellite centers in the program, but we are hoping to bring in HBCUs as primary centers as we expand the number of centers.
  • IAC Women for Energy Efficiency also received particular note in our current efforts to support the women already in the energy talent pipeline.

Watch the video recording above for more specifics on what was discussed at the event!

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