This month we've been keeping pretty busy with a number of events across the country, and we've really enjoyed speaking to so many diverse individuals in-person about the work we're doing here at the Department of Energy. Here's a snapshot of some of the events we've gotten a chance to attend this September:
September 19 – US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 32nd Annual Conference. This great conference - the Nation's largest gathering of Hispanic business owners - offered sessions on minority business certification, Federal procurement, obtaining capital, and more. Our Acting Director, Bill Valdez, flew down to Miami to attend the event and meet some of our country's innovative small business owners.
September 19 - 20 – White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week. During the two-day conference in honor of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Week, presidents, administrators, and attendees of HBCUs gathered in Washington, D.C., to hear from folks like Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, on community diversity, international development, graduation rates, and HBCU partnerships. Associate Deputy Secretary Mel Williams and Bill Valdez were honored to attend and offer remarks during one of the first sessions.
September 20 - US Patent and Trademark Office Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Conference for STEM Agencies. Attendees at the 3rd annual event in Virginia focused on increasing diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics agencies. Bill Valdez spoke to attendees about the value of mentoring to increase diversity in STEM fields.
September 20 - 21 - Federal Hispanic Career Advancement Summit. At this event, held in Bethesda, Maryland, all Federal employees were invited to attend to join workshop sessions and hear from speakers about career advancement opportunities and personalized development training. Agencies, including the Department of Energy, also participated in a career fair, letting attendees know what job opportunities exist at the Departments.
September 21 - 23 – Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference. The group that puts on this annual conference, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy, research and educational institute with aims to improve the socioeconomic circumstances of African Americans and other underserved communities. Dr. Arun Majumdar, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Director, spoke on reducing America's dependence on foreign fuels, and Dr. Steven Koonin, Undersecretary for Science, spoke about global energy challenges.
September 26 - October 1 – Hispanic, Engineering, Science, and Technology Week is organized by the University of Texas Pan-American. HESTEC features an educator day, student leader day, Latina day, Career Expo, and Technology Day, among other activities. Best practices to encourage more Hispanic students to enter STEM fields are discussed, and students learn from hand-on workshops on campus.
September 27 -30 – Minority Enterprise Development Week features sessions, keynotes, and networking focused on minority enterprise development. Minority-owned businesses meet government procurement officials and other contractors, learning how to navigate public and private procurement.