DOE Launches Workforce Development Strategy For Lithium Battery Manufacturing

March 20, 2022

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
March 20, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the launch of a national workforce development strategy for lithium battery manufacturing.

As part of a $5 million investment, DOE will support up to five pilot training programs in energy and automotive communities and advance workforce partnerships between industry and labor for the domestic lithium battery supply chain.

The pilot training programs will bring together manufacturing companies, organized labor, and training providers to lay the foundation for the development of a broad national workforce strategy, DOE noted.

The pilots will support industry-labor cooperation and will provide sites for job task analyses and documenting worker competencies, it said.

Insights gained will support the development of national industry-recognized credentials and inform the development of broader training programs to support the overall battery supply chain, DOE said.

This initiative comes as part of suite of announcements from President Biden’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization. This is 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, the DOE said.

DOE’s announcement follows its recent release of two Notices of Intent authorized by the infrastructure law to provide $3 billion to support projects that bolster domestic battery manufacturing and recycling.

The funding, which will be made available in the coming months, will support battery-materials refining, which will bolster domestic refining capacity of minerals such as lithium, as well as production plants, battery cell and pack manufacturing facilities, and recycling facilities, DOE said.