The US Department of Energy (DOE) andhave launched the Battery Workforce Challenge, which includes a three-year collegiate engineering competition; vocational training; youth education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); and career and technical education.
Managed by Argonne National Laboratory for DOE and co-sponsored by Stellantis, this government and industry partnership will build the next generation of engineers, technicians and workers to address the demand for a domestic electric-vehicle/battery workforce.
Kicking off in fall 2023, the Battery Workforce Challenge includes an advanced battery design and development student competition series that invites universities and vocational schools from across North America to design, build, test and integrate an advanced electric-vehicle battery into a future Stellantis vehicle.
Teams will follow real-world industry milestones focused on battery design, simulation, controls development, testing, and vehicle integration and demonstration. Participants will also learn valuable project management, communications, teamwork and problem-solving skills that will provide unparalleled educational experience and ready them for future careers throughout the battery industry.
Additional workforce and education initiatives will complement the challenge, including a national Career-Connected Learning Management System to provide flexible, accessible, and equitable training for learners across the education pipeline, as well as high school graduates and transitional workers, to connect participants to top jobs from the nation’s leading automotive and battery employers.
Argonne is now accepting applications from colleges and universities to select up to 11 teams that will participate in the Battery Workforce Challenge collegiate and vocational program. Proposals may be submitted from four-year universities located in the continental United States that are accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering Technology (ABET), and four-year universities located in Canada that are accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB). Non-accredited schools, such as community colleges, trade schools and apprenticeship programs, may participate as a partner to an accredited university as part of the vocational collaboration requirement.
A Survey conducted by NAATBatt for the The Li-Bridge Skills Gap survey shows that more than 200,000 new jobs along the battery supply chain will be required to support the US demand for Lithium-based batteries by 2030, a growth of 10 times the current workforce.