November 20, 2023

CCRI, U.S. Department of Energy Teaming Up to Help RI Manufacturers Go Green & Save Money

RI Delegation joins CCRI in celebrating school’s designation as an Industrial Assessment Center and eligibility for new federal funding

WARWICK, RI – The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) adds tremendous workforce value to local manufacturers and helps them improve efficiency and productivity in a variety of ways.  Today, CCRI’s efforts to assist local businesses with energy savings is getting a major boost thanks to the Biden Administration selecting CCRI as one of seventeen new Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) nationwide.  And with the new designation comes the potential for significant federal funding.

Today, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation joined Community College of Rhode Island Interim President Dr. Rosemary A. Costigan to celebrate CCRI’s selection by the U.S. Department of Energy as an IAC to help local businesses with energy expenditures.  This designation will help CCRI conduct energy audits and expand clean energy workforce training opportunities for in-demand, high-quality jobs.

With the designation, CCRI will deliver technical expertise and assistance to conduct assessments at small- and medium-sized manufacturers and commercial and institutional buildings throughout Rhode Island while training CCRI students and incumbent manufacturing workers for quality careers.  Trained CCRI experts will be able to provide small and medium enterprises with energy efficiency reports that help identify potential savings with detailed calculations and implementation cost estimates.

According to the Department of Energy: “IACs typically identify more than $130,000 in potential annual savings opportunities for every manufacturer assessed, nearly $50,000 of which is implemented during the first year following the assessment. Over 20,000 IAC assessments have been conducted.”

“Energy costs are a big concern for businesses of all sizes.  This is a major accomplishment for CCRI and a win for local companies, particularly manufacturers, that are sure to benefit and achieve greater efficiencies and cost savings in the future,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee who helped pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which made the program a reality.  “I commend CCRI for their outstanding work in terms of smart manufacturing and energy efficiency.  Not only are they identifying new ways for businesses to save money and energy, but they are strengthening Rhode Island’s workforce and industrial base too.”

“CCRI is a leader in preparing the next generation of talent for well-paying jobs in growing industries,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “The Industrial Assessment Center designation is a testament to CCRI’s strength in workforce training and building industry partnerships.  I commend their commitment to helping meet Rhode Island’s clean energy goals.”

“CCRI is honored to be selected as an Industrial Assessment Center,” said Dr. Rosemary A. Costigan, interim President of CCRI.  “This designation aligns seamlessly with our commitment to providing accessible, high-quality education that prepares individuals for in-demand, high-paying jobs and reinforces our commitment to expand training opportunities, particularly in the clean energy sector, while fostering energy efficiency and sustainability.

“We need to lower costs for Rhode Island businesses, and this designation will help local companies identify ways to save money and become more energy efficient,” said Representative Seth Magaziner. “I look forward to seeing CCRI’s work to support businesses across our state and train students for good-paying jobs in clean energy.”

“I’m thrilled to see CCRI’s designation to play a pivotal role in supporting manufacturers and small-and-medium sized enterprises reduce energy costs,” said Congressman Gabe Amo. “It is also heartening to see CCRI build upon its role as a hub for workforce development and opportunities for a wide range of Rhode Islanders to get good-paying jobs in our green economy. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues in the delegation to continue investing significant federal resources in our state.”

Until recently, IAC designations were limited to four-year institutions.  Expanding IACs to include community colleges, trade schools and union training programs, made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, brings training opportunities to organizations that serve disadvantaged and minoritized communities for in-demand, high-quality jobs while identifying opportunities for organizations to save energy, improve productivity, and reduce waste.

In addition to naming CCRI one of seventeen IACs, the Biden Administration also announced an inaugural cohort of 10 Building Training and Assessment Centers (BTAC).  Together, these 27 selectees are expected to receive a combined $40.8 million in federal funding.

Selectees will also work with hundreds of industrial facilities and buildings across more than 25 states and territories, expanding the existing network to 54 IACs and 10 BTACs. Aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 commitment, over 75 percent of these awards will go to organizations that serve disadvantaged communities, help reduce energy burdens, and increase access to high-quality, good-paying jobs for Americans facing barriers to employment.

Today’s announcement is the latest in CCRI’s effort to support academic pathways and workforce training in the green economy. On Wednesday, CCRI celebrated the topping off ceremony of the state’s first GWO offshore wind safety training center at the CCRI Flanagan Campus in Lincoln.

Chip Unruh (Reed), 202-224-4642

Meaghan McCabe (Whitehouse), 202-224-2921

James Kwon (Magaziner), 202-951-0315

Matt Rauschenbach (Amo), 202-225-4911

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921