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

Stakeholder Engagement



Primary Feedback Mechanisms

PNNL is committed to implementing strategies focused on cultivating relationships, diversity, 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 operate. We do this through strong and enduring community engagement, philanthropy, and employee volunteerism.

Examples include:

  • PNNL provided expert witness to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on opportunities to improve American energy infrastructure and testified on Grid Modernization.
  • PNNL provided expertise for a working session of the Washington State Senate Energy, Environment, and Telecommunications Committee to discuss energy storage technologies and PNNL's role in research and development.
  • Battelle leadership convened community leaders to form the β€œTri-City Diversity and Inclusion Community Leaders Group.” The group is driven by the collective belief that embracing diversity and inclusion enriches and unifies the community in which we live and work. The purpose of the group is to provide leadership and influence to create a more diverse and inclusive community; generate awareness about the importance and value of diversity and inclusion, spanning from the social components to the elements that demonstrate economic value and importance to individual organizations as well as the larger community; provide data and speak as a collective voice; catalyze conversation awareness and action; and share best practices.
  • PNNL was one of the 28 regional host sites in Washington for the Governor's Summit on Career Connected Learning – Tri-Cities Area Connection. The Summit with Washington State University Extension's Pathways to Prosperity and PNNL engaged business and community leaders to connect to statewide resources and help shape the strategies for career-connected learning opportunities and discuss actions to help young people gain work readiness skills needed to fill high-demand jobs in the Tri-Cities and across the state.
  • Three staff received the 2017 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 is given annually for outstanding contributions and impact to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. The award celebrates depth, breadth, and leadership related to mentoring students and educators, developing, and enhancing K-20 curriculum, participating in outreach and education activities that bring recognition to PNNL and Battelle, among other activities.
  • 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, Washington State STEM Education Foundation, 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.
  • Several staff members sit on the boards for local and state organizations dedicated to improving STEM education, including Heritage University, Washington State University Tri-Cities, Columbia Basin College, Washington State STEM Education Foundation, Yakima Valley/Tri-Cities Mathematics Engineering Science Advancement (MESA), and Washington STEM.

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:

  • Last year, PNNL was named to lead the Northwest Regional Manufacturing Center – a public/private partnership that is part of the national Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition. The regional center will advance and implement smart manufacturing technologies in the Northwest, initially focusing on the Northwest's energy-intensive manufacturing industries: food processing, advanced materials, metals processing, and wood products.
  • PNNL received the Association of Washington Business' Achieve Award which recognized a business that had excelled in creating, implementing or supporting high-caliber education or a workforce development system aligned with closing the employment gap. PNNL was recognized for its effects and ongoing support of STEM curricula with Washington's K-12 schools and institutions of higher education to create awareness of the high-tech careers available to the next generation workforce.
  • Battelle was a sponsor at the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region's (PNWER) 2017 annual summit, elevating visibility among important regional stakeholders at the federal, state (WA/OR/AK/ID/MT), and local level with discussions on topics such as STEM and the Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim. Hosted PNWER's Legislative Energy Horizon Institute, with State legislators from around the U.S. to learn about the energy industry, technology, and policy.
  • 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.
  • PNNL collaborated with Columbia Basin College and Delta High School in the design and implementation of teacher Computer Science and Cyber Security boot camps followed by a cyber security camp for students in grades 7-12. In a cross-laboratory collaboration with MESA, PNNL hosted its first Computing Day in recognition of Computer Science Education Week, bringing students to the campus to explore computer science careers. Outreach exposes local teachers to Computing Science standards and the integrated research approach to accelerate teaching and learning outcomes for future STEM students with a focus on developing the future diverse computer science workforce pipeline.
  • Battelle provided a $65,000 grant to the Pacific Education Institute for initiatives that will have tremendous statewide impacts on accessibility of high-quality, standards-aligned STEM professional development, education improvement and student equity.
  • Battelle is the main sponsor for the local Coats for Kid's campaign that provides coats to local schools for children in need, with staff donating coats that are cleaned and distributed through local businesses involved in the program. Team Battelle volunteers disperse coats to local schools. On average, Battelle and the community donate 600-800 coats to children at 24 local schools who might go without a warm coat.