How we’re supporting young people to transform the US lithium supply chain

October 8, 2023

Advanced batteries are the linchpin technology in the energy transition and a critical climate solution. Without reliable access to battery technology, many countries such as the USA have no chance of meeting their 2050 carbon emissions goals. 

At New Energy Nexus we are focused on going beyond just growing this industry. The “how” matters and is reflected in our commitment to building a mission oriented battery innovation ecosystem.

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Imperial County is brimming with innovative talent and entrepreneurial spirit. At NEX, we believe that frontline communities are often those best suited to solve economic and climate challenges. What would happen if we were to flip the script and demonstrate how young people in Imperial Valley are precisely the kinds of entrepreneurs who will help lead a more inclusive economy in California?

That’s why we’ve partnered with local organizations and the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside to launch the Youth Entrepreneurial Accelerator (YEA!) in Imperial County  – the first of its kind in California aiming to cultivate a new generation of innovators.

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On 29 September, over 300 students from across Imperial County engaged with clean tech companies, entrepreneurs, labor partners, government officials and community organizations, and the California Energy Commission.

Our aim to connect young people to social and technology trailblazers in the community and engage them in hands-on experiences to spark their interest in areas of the advanced battery sector.

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We see opportunities like this as essential to putting youth at the center of the clean energy transition, and to help surface solutions that can accelerate a more equitable clean energy transition in the state.

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Thank you…

Thank you to the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside for co-hosting the Youth Innovation Summit, as well as our local partners at Imperial Valley College, the Imperial County Workforce Development Board, Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Programs, and all the high schools that participated.

A special thank you to Danna Padilla, a student from Southwest High School in El Centro, who was first place winner of our YEA! logo design competition. We’d also like to thank the rest of the graphic design students from Southwest High School for their design submissions and the Imperial High School Tigerbotics Team for being part of our youth innovation workshop.