US launches $5m lithium battery workforce initiative

The Department of Energy will support up to five pilot training programmes in energy and automotive communities and advance workshop partnerships for the domestic lithium battery supply chain

Big Zero Report 2022

The US Government has announced a $5 million (£3.79m) investment for the launch of a national workforce development strategy for lithium battery manufacturing.

The Department of Energy (DOE) will support up to five pilot training programmes in energy and automotive communities and advance workshop partnerships between industry and labour for the domestic lithium battery supply chain.

Lithium batteries power a range of products from electric vehicles (EVs) to consumer electronics and are a critical component of President Biden’s decarbonisation strategy.

The training programmes will bring together manufacturing companies, organised labour and training providers to lay the foundation for the development of a broad national workforce strategy.

The initiative follows recent announcements to provide $3 billion (£2.3bn) to support projects that bolster domestic battery manufacturing and recycling.

It is also part of a suite of announcements from the President Biden’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalisation – a partnership among the White House and nearly a dozen federal agencies committed to pursuing near and long term actions to support coal, oil and gas and power plant communities as the nation transitions to a clean energy economy.

Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said: “American leadership in the global battery supply chain will be based not only on our innovative edge but also on our skilled workforce of engineers, designers, scientists and production workers.

“President Biden has a vision for achieving net zero emissions while creating millions of good paying, union jobs — and DOE’s battery partnerships with labor and industry are key to making that vision a reality.”

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