DOE launches initiative to build EV battery workforce

By Jack Quinn | 03/27/2024 06:43 AM EDT

The program aims to ensure there will be enough skilled workers to construct clean energy projects.

Assembly line workers attach an LG battery to a 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Assembly line workers attaching a battery to a 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV at a plant in Lake Orion, Michigan. Carlos Osorio/AP

The departments of Energy and Labor announced new training guidelines for battery manufacturing workers Tuesday as the Biden administration aims to ensure there will be an adequate supply of skilled employees to decarbonize the grid and expand the electric vehicle industry.

The guidelines are designed to standardize training for battery workers in several focus areas, including manufacturing cathodes and anodes, preparing electrodes, assembling cells and testing finished products for quality and safety with chemicals and high-voltage equipment. The departments also called for the creation of an official credential for training providers to present to students preparing for jobs.

The training standards are part of DOE and Labor’s joint Battery Workforce Initiative, which was launched in March 2022 with $5 million in federal funding dedicated to workforce training programs. The new training guidelines, which are intended to support registered apprenticeships with battery machine operators, were crafted with input from representatives from companies, labor unions and community colleges.


“Training is the key to a successful battery industry,” Bob Galyen, chief technology officer for the battery industry trade association NAATBatt, said in a DOE press release accompanying the announcement. “The Battery Workforce Initiative will accelerate our return to global technology leadership and help create more middle-class jobs,” Galyen added.