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Sustainable PNNL - Balancing social, environmental, and economic needs for a more sustainable future

Stakeholder Engagement

Community

Customers

Primary Feedback Mechanisms

Our strategies focus on cultivating relationships and goodwill and enhancing our reputation as a vital neighbor and essential asset to the community. PNNL and Battelle are viewed as economic, intellectual and social assets to the Tri-Cities and other key communities in which we live and work. We do this through strong and enduring community engagement, philanthropy, and employee volunteerism.

Examples include:

  • PNNL organized a cyber security panel for the Washington State Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee at the request of Senator Sharon Brown and provided technical expertise and testimony on the Washington State Cyber Security Bill.
  • Two staff received the 2016 Fitzner-Eberhardt Award, an award given in honor of two scientists who dedicated their lives to wildlife preservation and education. The prestigious Laboratory Director’s Award for outstanding contributions and impact to science and engineering education award is given annually to those who enhance public understanding of science and support science and engineering education by mentoring students and educators and developing and enhancing curriculum. PNNL enthusiastically supports scientists and teachers who donate their time and efforts to inspire young students to seek careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Staff members participate in leadership positions on numerous community boards, including the Association of Washington Business, Tri-City Development Council, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tri-Cities Research District, REACH Foundation, Delta High School, Columbia Basin College, Washington State University Tri-Cities, and United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties.
  • Staff members present PNNL’s work through the Community Science & Technology Seminar Series and Speakers Bureau.
  • Several staff members sit on the boards for local and state organizations dedicated to improving science, technology, engineering, and math education, including Heritage University, Washington State University Tri-Cities, Columbia Basin College, Delta High School, Washington State STEM Education Foundation, Yakima Valley/Tri-Cities Mathematics Engineering Science Advancement, and Washington State Leadership & Assistance for Science Education Reform.

The frequency of these interactions varies by group but occurs several times throughout the year.

Key Topics and Concerns

No significant issues have been raised. Evidence of the positive relationships includes the following:

  • PNNL was selected to lead the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition. Senator Cantwell joined Senators Murray, Wyden and Merkley in advocating for the selection of the Pacific Northwest as a regional center for Smart Manufacturing.
  • Battelle is a major founding partner and sponsor of the Leadership Washington Program. A program of the Association of Washington Business Institute for Workforce Development and Economic Sustainability, Leadership Washington is designed to cultivate and educate the next generation of Washington industry leaders and is a vehicle that employers can use to prepare for the coming generational shift as members of the baby boom era retire.
  • Battelle is again a lead sponsor of the Tri-City Regional Chamber’s Tri-Cities Economic Gardening program. Battelle’s initial investment in Economic Gardening program helped attract Governor Inslee to the Tri-Cities Regional Chamber Roundtable to learn about the program and led to the launch of a state-sponsored Economic Gardening program. This national model impacts our local economic development and provides business intelligence tools to targeted businesses to sustain long-term economic growth in a community. We have teamed with the Chamber to work with science and technology businesses.
  • In 2016 staff at PNNL continued to provide support to local schools implementing new computer science and cyber security courses. In addition, staff also stepped up to help teach a computer science class at Delta High School when the teacher left unexpectedly. Several computer science staff taught lessons, mentored the long-term substitute teacher and provided technical assistance in support of the class. Delta High School students take one required term of computer science in the 11th grade and is currently the only high school in the area where a computer science class is a requirement rather than an elective. Delta is a small, highly personalized STEM high school that was established in 2010 through Battelle’s leadership and financial support.
  • Mid-Columbia STEM Education Collaboratory was a featured K-12 STEM program at the statewide Learning Roundtable “Connected: Building a STEM Learning Ecosystem” hosted by U.S. Senator Patty Murray. The goal of the event is to better connect in-school and out-of-school STEM learning. Staff at PNNL also contributed technical expertise to national and state computer science education policy efforts through a framework document, the Washington State computer science education standards and K-12 computer science education teacher endorsement requirements.
  • Battelle contributed $70,000 to Columbia Basin College to assist the college with purchasing a much-needed WiFi upgrade and equipment that will support faculty and student needs for technology and information, improve wireless infrastructure access and computer security, and ensure reliability.