WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, recently honored Dr. Lee Link of the Washington State University Extension Energy Program with the Secretary’s Appreciation Award. The award recognized the “superior performance and leadership to assure success for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in efforts associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” of Link and his team.“Your work implementing the Recovery Act has helped America recover from economic crisis, create new jobs and new industries, and make a meaningful down payment on our energy and environmental future,” said Chu on the award inscription. “You have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and we thank you for your service to the nation.”
Link is the clearinghouse division manager at the WSU Extension Energy Program. Link – and his entire team of nearly two dozen people – operates the DOE Recovery Act Clearinghouse for the nation. This is the front door for learning about all of DOE’s Recovery Act activities. Its mission is to help increase the availability of information and encourage participation. Since launch, they have answered 40,000 inquiries about DOE’s opportunities and activities.
Jaime Carlson, adviser for Recovery Act Implementation at DOE, traveled from Washington, D.C. to Olympia for a clearinghouse team site visit last summer. Afterward, she noted, “Secretary Chu made improving the Department of Energy’s customer service a top priority. The WSU information center has played an integral part in DOE delivering on this goal. Under the Recovery Act, DOE had to provide an unprecedented amount of information and support to the public. WSU’s centralized call center was a force-multiplier for us, allowing us to communicate with thousands of customers in a quick and effective manner, with the highest marks of customer satisfaction.”
Link accepted this prestigious award on behalf of the WSU Extension Energy Program.
“This honor is for the entire team, and it is a reflection of their outstanding performance in support of DOE’s Recovery Act work,” he said. “Their commitment, attention to detail and great customer service paid off – not because of this exciting award – but in the real difference that their efforts made in the energy arena for the country.”
Jake Fey, director of the WSU Extension Energy Program, said, “Their hard work is important and far reaching, and I am proud of all of them. They have been very successful helping DOE’s partners and customers understand and navigate the myriad of resources and processes, which is critical for the overall success of the Recovery Act.”
In February 2009, the Secretary of Energy’s Office approached the WSU Extension Energy Program – because of its reputation and experience – to request that it operate this new information clearinghouse. By April 2009, it was up and running.
The Recovery Act Clearinghouse serves all 50 states and the U.S. territories. It fields inquiries from state and local governments, large and small businesses, tribes, federal agencies and facilities, professional and trade associations, schools and universities, Congress, citizens, consumers and homeowners.
The WSU Extension Energy Program has spent 20 years in the energy information center business, and typically operates at least three information centers at any given time.
On-site customer service staff, energy specialists, engineers, research librarians, energy-efficiency software developers, and others contribute to the success of the information centers.
Contact the DOE Recovery Act Clearinghouse at 1-888-DOE-RCVY (1-888-363-7289), or recoveryclearinghouse.energy.gov