President Barack Obama tours the University of Miami Industrial Assessment Center in Miami, Florida, Feb. 23, 2012. The IAC is where students learn how to become industrial energy-efficiency experts as they help small to mid-sized manufacturers reduce their energy costs. | Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy.
During his visit to Florida, yesterday, President Obama highlighted the University of Miami's Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) as a smart and important piece of the administration's "all-of-the-above" approach to domestic energy sources.
In September of last year, the Energy Department gave 24 universities a total of $30M in grants to help train the next generation of industrial energy-efficiency experts. Each school will receive $200,000 to $300,000 per year for up to 5 years to train students on core energy management concepts. The teams conduct energy assessments in a broad range of manufacturing facilities, which prepare students to compete in today's economy while helping local companies and factories reduce energy waste, save money, and become more competitive.
As President Obama said yesterday, "We're taking a step that will make it easier for companies to save money by investing in energy solutions that have been proven here at the University of Miami -- new lighting systems; advanced heating and cooling systems that can lower a company's energy bills and make them more competitive."
Since the Industrial Assessment Center program began in 1976, university teams have conducted more than 15,000 energy assessments at U.S. manufacturing plants nationwide. To date, more than 3,000 students have graduated from the Industrial Assessment Center program, with more than 60 percent going on to careers in the energy industry. Critically, these assessments have helped save over 530 trillion BTUs of energy -- enough to meet the energy needs of 5.5 million American homes -- and have helped participating manufacturers save more than $5.6 billion in energy costs.
If you'd like to apply for an assessment, you can contact one of the 24 schools across the country that currently participate in the IAC Program.