OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of General Administration’s award-winning Plant Operations Support program – known as the Consortium – will become part of the WSU Extension Energy Program effective Sept. 1.
 
“This transfer is in keeping with Gov. Chris Gregoire’s direction to think innovatively and to reconfigure our organizations when economies of scale can be gained and customers satisfied,” said Linda Villegas, director of GA.
 
The move is a coupling of two self-sustaining and customer-based programs whose charters include energy and facilities education, consultation and efficiency advocacy. The strength of both programs is expected to be leveraged by the merger, and mutual customers can expect seamless service.
 
“We see this transfer as a win-win for all concerned,” said Jake Fey, director of the WSU Extension Energy Program. “The Consortium staff brings considerable operational savvy, proven effectiveness and well-established connections to the WSU Extension Energy Program, and we will remain closely partnered with GA.”
 
The Consortium has been co-located with the WSU Extension Energy Program in Olympia since September 2007. It will now merge into the program.
 
The Consortium includes more than 125 public member school districts, state and provincial agencies, colleges, municipalities, utilities and nonprofits. It is sustained by membership subscriptions and fees for professional services.
 
The four core Consortium staff will become employees of the WSU Extension Energy Program and will have additional energy-related resources to assist in resolving the more than 2,000 requests for assistance received from members each year.