Li-Cycle Shares its 'Green Collar' Jobs Strategy
Every lithium-ion battery placed into every EV has a shelf life. There is a finite amount of times a battery can be charged and discharged. Li-Cycle and other battery recycling companies want to make sure that the materials in those "dead" batteries don't end up in a landfill and instead are reintroduced into the battery manufacturing ecosystem and used again and again.
Working towards the goal of recycling EV batteries, Li-Cycle has opened five "Spoke" recycling centers in North America and is working to launch its first commercial hub in Rochester, New York where it will employ 270 employees and aims to become a source of lithium carbonate and other battery materials for automakers and battery manufactures.
Having staff that can successfully remove these precious components from old batteries is key to Li-Cycle's goal. Making sure that those looking to enter its workforce are up to speed on the company's needs, Li-Cycle shared with us the skillsets required to be employed at both its current and future sites as it strives to be part of a circular EV economy.
For entry-level workers, the company looks for a "continuous learning mindset, project involvement, enthusiasm for sustainable practices, safety awareness, eagerness to learn, and attention to detail."
For mid-level employees, it's on the search for people with "technical competencies, problem-solving skills, clear and effective communication, teamwork and collaboration, adaptability and learning agility, analytical thinking, attention to detail, and safety awareness."
To help fulfill the technical competency portion of the skills needed, Li-Cycle has partnered with the Rochester Education Opportunity Center (REOC) in Rochester, New York. An "industrial operator" training program has been borne out of this joint venture. A LiCycle spokesperson to SAE, "Our primary goal is to support individuals who are pursuing a non-traditional career path, helping them to become skilled plant operators. This program is designed to be versatile, ensuring that graduates can apply their expertise anywhere, making them highly sought-after candidates not only at Li-Cycle, but also in the broader industry."
If you live in another part of the country and you're interested in a variety of battery, sustainability, and EV training programs, SAE and InnoEnergy have partnered up to offer an online Battery Academy.
Meanwhile, for the high-level jobs at Li-Cycle which include researchers, engineers, etc, the company is looking for, "advanced technical proficiency, innovative problem-solving, leadership and strategic vision, research and development skills, project management, regulatory compliance, and environmental expertise, industry knowledge and awareness, and data analysis."
Overall the company is looking for individuals who collaborate, work well in an ambiguous environment, feel comfortable taking risks, and has out of the box thinking. This is typical of relatively new companies. There is more fluidity within job tasks versus a company with decades under its belt.
But if you're searching for something new and exciting and being part of one of the most important portions of a sustainable future, battery recycling might be the place for you.