DOE’s $24M training grants focus on clean energy jobs


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday announced a new $24 million funding opportunity for workforce training programs geared toward clean energy jobs that don’t require a four-year degree.

With funding via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program aims to further expand the Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) network to include more community colleges, union training programs, apprenticeships and trade schools, according to DOE. The department added that IACs support the Biden administration’s goals of growing a clean energy workforce and boosting the economy by helping small and midsized manufacturers identify opportunities to save costs and increase productivity.

Interested organizations can apply to one of three tracks:

  • Track 1: One-year initial-planning and capacity-building awards of up to $200,000 each for institutions to plan how they will establish a future IAC (with the intent to apply for a Track 2 award in 2025).
  • Track 2: Three-year execution and scale awards of $500,000 to $2 million for existing career training programs to become an IAC.
  • Track 3: Three-year consortia and cohort awards of $4 million to $7 million for facilitated groups of colleges, state systems, multi-local union projects, apprenticeship intermediaries and their IAC-eligible partners to establish several IACs at once.

DOE said the solicitation will be managed by the department’s partnership intermediary, ENERGYWERX, which will help reach and support applicants who may have limited experience with DOE funding opportunities.

The grants may go toward a range of eligible costs, including curriculum development, instructor recruitment and professional development, student wages to support their provision of hands-on technical assistance, support to help students succeed and equipment. Full applications are due May 16; DOE will accept optional “short concept papers” until March 28.

Applicants are “highly encouraged” to create partnerships for their projects, including with existing and newly selected IACs, community organizations, workforce development boards and industry stakeholders. Applicants are also encouraged to align their projects with other Investing in America agenda-supported projects and emerging manufacturing clusters.

An informational webinar is set for March 5.

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