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Energy Exchange a place for government and industry to train, network, ‘stay connected’

Collaboration and conservation are at the heart of this year’s Energy Exchange, hosted by the Energy Department’s Federal Energy Management Program.

FEMP acting Director Leslie Nicholls said the workforce training and networking event — which runs Aug. 15-17 in Tampa, Florida — builds on three years of lessons learned from previous exchanges, and incorporates valuable feedback from public and private sector stakeholders.

“The Energy Exchange is for the entire portfolio that comes together for these energy and water projects; so there’s the private sector, the energy service companies and other service companies, utilities are there, associations are there, federal staff, energy managers, facility managers, architects, decision makers, from the energy manager all the way up to the assistant secretary for environment and energy, ” Nicholls told Federal News Radio in an interview. “So getting all these different perspectives in one place, but then you have to keep the conversation going. It’s really a conversation and when you have a conversation, you have to be willing to listen.”

FEMP is driven by that willingness to listen as it’s planned the past few exchanges, and this year is no different, Nicholls said.

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The 2017 exchange boasts 135 training sessions across 15 training tracks, all held alongside a co-located trade show.

“The Energy Exchange is not just about training, it also represents the fact you can network and you learn a lot from your colleagues,” Nicholls said. “It allows the ability for newer government leaders to talk about their goals for the future.”

Priorities and opportunities

Nicholls said the earlier exchanges were conservatively planned, but this year’s took into account attendee feedback.

“Resiliency and security portfolio planning is taking a bigger…

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