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Expanding the Industrial Assessment Center Program: Building an Industrial Efficiency Workforce
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Energy efficiency provides an unequaled opportunity for manufacturing companies to reduce operating costs. Energy efficiency improvements not only lead to reduced energy costs, they can lead to even greater improved productivity and decreased waste. However, many cost-effective projects are not being implemented. Manufacturing companies have indicated that this is often due not to a lack of funds but rather to a lack of access to technical information and trained workforce. One of the most successful programs for achieving energy efficiency savings in the manufacturing sector is the US Department of Energy (DOE)'s Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program. In addition to significant energy savings, the IAC program produces a steady stream of energy engineers who are in high demand as plant energy managers, energy efficiency consultants, and energy efficient design engineers. This paper proposes a strategy for expanding the IAC program in both size and scope to better meet the workforce and energy assessment needs of US manufacturers. The expansion would be accomplished by establishing Centers of Excellence at current IAC locations, and then partnering with other universities, community colleges, and trade schools to create satellite centers to educate students at all technical levels. This would provide additional assistance to industrial customers over larger regions than is currently possible. Further partnerships with other organizations that already service manufacturing facilities would take advantage of existing infrastructure to enable the most efficient distribution of energy efficiency services.
Trombley, D.; Elliott, R. N.; Chittum, A. (2009). Expanding the Industrial Assessment Center Program: Building an Industrial Efficiency Workforce. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from