US hydrogen workforce development programmes

Last updated: 3 August 2023

 The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched two new efforts in 2020 targeting workforce development, training and STEM education. The Hydrogen Education for a Decarbonized Economy (H2EDGE) aims to develop and grow the emerging industry workforce to advance hydrogen technologies and end-use applications through regional hubs. The programme seeks to improve workforce readiness through training and education, including by developing materials and offering professional training courses and developing university curriculum content. It also plans to collaborate with industry and university partners to develop certifications, credentials, qualifications and standards for training and education. In September 2020, the DOE awarded a USD 2 million contract under the initiative to a consortium of research organisations, including the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), Oregon State University, Purdue University and the University of Delaware. Primary funding for the project comes from DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), with supplemental support from the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative, jointly led by EPRI and GTI, along with participating universities.

H2EDGE is both focused on developing a newly trained workforce and on helping the current labour force transition into jobs in the hydrogen sector through increased industry coordination and workforce planning efforts. H2EDGE is part of the broader workforce development project, GridEd, that now includes hydrogen to the technical programme that covers power systems, distributed resources and digital systems. The programme will address hydrogen workforce development skills in four technical areas: production, delivery, storage and use. DOE’s HFTO in June 2020 also announced USD 20 million in funding to the University of Tennessee to support workforce development in new energy technology areas (including hydrogen and fuel cells), in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Oak Ridge Institute. The five-year, interdisciplinary programme will focus on research and development in emerging technical fields, such as energy system resilience. 

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