In July 2013, the Secretary of Energy tasked the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity to assemble a broad group of stakeholders from across academia, non-profit organizations, policy groups, and business to begin a dialogue on the position of minority communities as it relates to the Department and the energy sector overall. The stakeholders met over several weeks and identified three areas that were key and the development of strategies to engage minority communities in the energy sector. These three focus areas are STEM Education/ Workforce Development, Energy Economic Development, and Climate Change. This effort was the beginning of the Minorities in Energy Initiative (MiE).
The MiE will be a sustainable program of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Department. To assist the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity in accomplishing its broad mission, MiE is both internally focused on increasing participation of minorities and minority businesses in the Department's activities as well as externally focused on building capacity of minority communities to participate in the energy sector job and business opportunities.
The MiE has been designed with three major components:
1) Annual Symposium: The MiE kick-off event on September 24, 2013 served as the first symposium, and the MIE will host one such gathering per year to review progress over the past year, identify new challenges, and recalibrate the program’s goals and activities.
2) Ambassadors Program: Selection of leaders who have committed to lending their voice to the mission of MIE and will include MIE in their speaking engagements throughout the year.
3) Annual Recognition Program: An annual recognition program will highlight the efforts of individuals and organizations that have achieved tangible results in increasing the engagement of minority communities in the energy sector through achievements related to STEM education/workforce development, climate change, energy literacy, and increasing the capacity of minority businesses to participate in the energy sector.
The conversation has begun, the focus areas have been identified, the major components of the MiE have been framed, and the strategy and implementation will begin. Summaries of the discussions, findings, and recommendations from the kick-off break-out sessions on September 24, 2013, are outlined in the attached Executive Summary.