The US Department of Energy (DOE), in coordination with the US Department of Labor and the AFL-CIO, is launching 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.
This workforce initiative is intended to support the nation’s global competitiveness within battery manufacturing while strengthening the domestic economy and clean energy supply chains.
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. The pilots will support industry-labor cooperation and will provide sites for job task analyses and documenting worker competencies.
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.
This announcement follows DOE’s recent release of two Notices of Intent authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to provide $2.91 billion to support projects that bolster domestic battery manufacturing and recycling. (Earlier post.) 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.