DOE Funding to Train Industrial Energy Efficiency Experts

Energy Secretary Chu said the program "will make sure that the next generation of American workers has the education and skills they need to further our transition to a clean energy economy."

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced June 16 that more than $30 million is being made available in a competitive funding opportunity to help universities train undergraduate- and graduate-level engineering students in manufacturing efficiency. The goal is to educate the next generation of industrial energy efficiency experts.

Through the Industrial Assessment Center program, university teams across the country will gain practical training and skills to conduct energy assessments in a broad range of manufacturing facilities. They will help companies and factories reduce energy waste, save money, and become more economically competitive, according to DOE.

"Through this industrial efficiency training program, students will gain hands-on experience and training for jobs in a growing global sector, while at the same time reducing energy waste for American businesses and helping to make our manufacturing facilities more competitive," Chu said. "This program will make sure that the next generation of American workers has the education and skills they need to further our transition to a clean energy economy."

Through university-based Industrial Assessment Centers, engineering students will receive extensive training in industrial processes, energy assessment procedures, and energy management. Each IAC will receive $200,000 to $300,000 annually and will be expected to train at least 10 to 15 students per year, conduct approximately 20 energy assessments annually, and perform follow-up reporting, tracking, implementation, and management improvement activities. Applications are due by Aug. 2, 2011.

DOE's Industrial Assessment Program has trained students and performed nearly 16,000 energy assessments for manufacturing plants for more than 30 years, graduating nearly 3,000 students.

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