On June 9, United States Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) visited McKinstry’s Seattle headquarters to participate in a roundtable discussion on energy efficiency innovation, grid security and workforce development.
Leading the discussion was McKinstry CEO Dean Allen, McKinstry general counsel and Washington State Senator Jamie Pedersen (D-43) and Ash Awad, McKinstry chief market officer.
After the meeting, the senators—who lead the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee—announced that they’re renewing their efforts to push a bipartisan bill that would invest in grid modernization, smart building technologies and energy resiliency.
“This is a win-win-win situation,” said Sen. Cantwell. “It’s a winning strategy for making us more secure, it’s a winning strategy for driving down the cost of energy to consumers and it’s a winning strategy because it will grow jobs in America.”
“There is more that we can do to be more efficient, to reduce the cost to the individual, to our communities, to our schools as well,” said Sen. Murkowski. “These are significant opportunities for greater collaboration.”
“This bill helps provide some of the innovation and the funding for demonstration projects so we can take them to scale,” said Allen. “This is the kind of federal support we need to keep these initiatives moving forward, and in particular here in the Pacific Northwest where we’re making significant progress.”
Cantwell and Murkowski’s visit also included a tour of McKinstry. At the Remote Operations Center, the senators learned how McKinstry remotely monitors and manages client buildings with an eye on energy efficiency. In the fabrication shop, the senators observed McKinstry’s manufacturing mindset in action.
The senators said they were impressed with how McKinstry has built a thriving business out of energy efficiency and technology.
“[Energy efficiency] is helping businesses save dollars, and it’s creating jobs as people like McKinstry see what providing that level of efficiency can do for the public and the private sector,” explained Sen. Cantwell. “It’s a company that has made energy efficiency a very, very successful business model and grown many, many jobs in the Pacific Northwest.”
Other roundtable attendees included Bill Gaines, CEO of the Tacoma Public Utility District; Colonel Gent Welsh of the Washington National Guard; and Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, Executive Director for the UW Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity.
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