Skip to Content
Home | news | Press Releases

Press Releases

Dingell Statement on Battery Workforce Initiative Launch and Investments in Battery Manufacturing

DEARBORN, Mich. – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today applauded the launch of the Department of Energy (DOE) Battery Workforce Initiative, a public-private partnership that aims to lay the foundation for developing the modern American labor force necessary to sustain the growth of a domestic battery supply chain. In addition to the launch of the Battery Workforce Initiative, the DOE announced a $2.5 billion loan to Ultium Cells LLC to help finance the construction of new lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan, expected to create more than 11,000 good-paying jobs. Dingell was unable to attend the launch event in Dearborn after testing positive for COVID-19.

“As we supercharge the transition to clean energy technology, we need to make sure we’re investing in our workers. We must have the programs and resources in place so our workers can develop the skills and access the tools to find and keep good-paying jobs as the automotive and manufacturing landscape continues to evolve and grow,” said Rep. Dingell. “I’m disappointed I could not join my friends and colleagues for the launch of this critical initiative as I recover from a recent COVID-19 diagnosis. This partnership is bringing everyone to the table: government, labor, industry, and alliance members to develop and deploy high-quality training programs to prepare the American workforce for the transition to a clean energy economy. I look forward to continuing to work with our partners in all sectors to make sure we’re researching, developing, and building the clean energy technology of the future right here in America.”

“DOE is flooring the accelerator to build the electric vehicle supply chain here at home—and that starts with domestic battery manufacturing led by American workers and the unions that support them,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This loan will jumpstart the domestic battery cell production needed to reduce our reliance on other countries to meet increased demand and support President Biden’s goals of widespread EV adoption and cutting carbon pollution produced by gas-powered vehicles.”

The Battery Workforce Initiative will:

  • Convene battery industry organizations to cooperate in the development of training by sharing non-proprietary requirements for high-demand occupations.
  • Engage training experts from manufacturers, labor, education, government, and other organizations to participate in facilitated workshops that quickly distill common skills and abilities needed in each industry segment and accelerate decision making; and
  • Translate those needs into educational and on-the-job training requirements, forming the basis for training materials and guides.

BWI partners include the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Working for America Institute, Li-Bridge alliance members, and other organizations.

Funding for the Ultium Cells loan stems from Dingell’s long legislative work to strengthen the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program, including the ATVM Future Act, which modernizes the program and expands qualifying applications by broadening the definition to include ultra-efficient vehicles, and light-duty and medium-duty passenger vehicles, and heavy-duty vehicles that meet emission standards set by EPA or emit zero-emissions, as well as increases funding for the ATVM program. 
Back to top