The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has joined the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor in signing a memorandum of understanding in support of the Economy, Energy and Environment Initiative (E3 Initiative). The goal of this effort is to assist manufacturers in becoming more efficient, competitive and sustainable through public-private partnerships. E3 focuses on helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) advance efforts to use lean, clean, and energy-efficient practices to conserve energy, reduce environmental impacts, preserve jobs, and enhance overall competitiveness.

With each local project, federal agencies work with local utility companies to help strategically coordinate and target concrete assistance to the SMEs, including plant-specific assessments for reducing costs and waste, improving productivity and efficiency, and measuring greenhouse gas (GHS) emissions; training for partners to prevent pollution and reduce toxic chemical use; recruitment, screening, and referral services to help employers hire skilled workers; and assistance in making adjustments to business and strategic plans to incorporate assessment recommendations.

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