Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience Offers Interns to Oregon Businesses

The Oregon Department of Energy is partnering with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon Sea Grant on the Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience – a program that connects Oregon businesses with interns who will assess a business’ sustainability opportunities.

OASE is looking for Oregon businesses that are interested in hosting a free intern for 10 weeks over the summer.

OASE interns will work with businesses to research sustainability options that can help businesses conserve water or energy, prevent pollution, and save money in the process! An intern can make suggestions to improve efficiency and reduce waste, research alternative materials or procedures, and more.

Interns will be mentored by OASE engineers and educators – Oregon Department of Energy staff will offer energy expertise and guidance. At the end of the summer, host businesses will receive a full report of the intern’s work and recommendations, along with possible next steps to implement sustainability improvements.

Last summer, interns worked with several host businesses, including the Craft Brew Alliance, EcNow Tech, Hummingbird Wholesale, Lamb Weston, and West Linn Paper. After receiving training from DEQ, ODOE, NW Green Chemistry, and the Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center, interns worked onsite at the host businesses to gain a deep understanding of that host’s unique process and challenges. Interns gained real world experience in process improvement while helping local businesses identify opportunities to conserve energy, water, and other resources.

Oregon’s first cohort of OASE interns achieved impressive results. If they implemented the interns’ recommendations, host businesses could annually:

  • Save nearly $900,000
  • Reduce water use by 60 million gallons
  • Reduce solid or hazardous materials by 8.5 tons

Participating businesses have already implemented several of the interns’ 2017 recommendations. The Craft Brew Alliance and Lamb Westin were so pleased with their experiences that they’ve decided to participate in the program for a second year.

ODOE is proud to partner on this great internship program. In addition to serving as a technical advisor to interns, we also serve as a member of the technical advisory committee for the program, and will host an OASE intern orientation and kickoff meeting in June.

The OASE program is funded through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. Interested businesses should apply by February 23, 2018. Learn more and access application materials on DEQ’s website.

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