National lab and Youngstown State partner to develop battery manufacturing workforce

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory is partnering with Ohio’s Youngstown State University on a $1 million project to advance workforce development for the battery manufacturing industry.

According to the DOE, the new Energy Storage Workforce Innovation Center will serve as a training center based in the Midwest. It will support the battery and electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing industry in the northeast region of Ohio–referred to as “Voltage Valley” due to the EV sector’s regional investments–by helping supply a capable workforce.

The DOE said the U.S. is in a period of “tremendous advancement in battery technologies, presenting new opportunities for electric vehicles and energy storage systems,” and it’s essential to “prepare a workforce that will lead the next generation of energy storage technologies into practice.”

This effort supports the DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge, which draws on the research capabilities of the U.S. national laboratories, universities, and industry to accelerate the development of energy storage technologies. The DOE added that the Energy Storage Grand Challenge Roadmap outlines a department-wide strategy to accelerate innovation across a range of storage technologies and develop a skilled workforce based on three concepts: Innovate Here, Make Here, and Deploy Everywhere.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, representing Ohio’s 13th District, called this new partnership a “great example of how government can work to bolster efforts on the ground in our community to dominate in the clean energy economy.”

The $1 million project is sponsored by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office and the Advanced Manufacturing Office.

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