FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 16, 2012
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
As part of the president’s blueprint for an American economy built to last, the Energy Department and the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program have announced up to $1.3 million for training programs to provide commercial building professionals with critical skills needed to optimize building efficiency, reduce waste, and save money. By offering valuable workforce training, these programs will help to reach the Better Buildings Initiative goal of improving energy efficiency nationwide in commercial and industrial buildings by 20 percent by 2020, reducing energy costs by nearly $40 billion and creating American jobs.
“As the president made clear in his State of the Union address, reducing energy waste in business and manufacturing is critical to building an American economy that lasts,” said Secretary Chu. “A well-trained clean energy workforce will help U.S. businesses to cut energy costs, become more competitive in the global market and reduce pollution.”
The funding announced today will support training centers targeted at improving energy performance in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants. To compete for the funding, universities, community and technical colleges and trade associations across the country will partner with NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers  to create robust building efficiency training programs that leverage MEP’s efforts to help businesses create and retain jobs, increase profits and save time and money. Training will be tailored to building operators, building managers and energy service providers and will provide energy performance solutions that can save businesses 5 to 20 percent on their energy bills.
“Everywhere I go, across the country, CEOs and business leaders tell me that one of their chief concerns is having the highly skilled workers they need to power their companies. They believe, and this administration believes, that a globally competitive economy requires a globally competitive workforce, and that begins with by funding training programs like these,” said Secretary Bryson. “Simply put, training is the key to helping American workers meet the demands of our rapidly changing 21st century economy.”
Applications are due on March 30, 2012. For detailed information and application requirements, see the entry here  (PDF).
The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.
Learn more about the Energy Department’s support of Energy Education and Workforce Development at http://www.eere.energy.gov/education .
Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department that promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. The nationwide network provides a variety of services, from innovation strategies to process improvements to green manufacturing.
NIST press release