Equity in EnergyTM is an initiative designed to include and expand the participation of individuals in underserved communities, which includes minorities, women, veterans, and formerly incarcerated persons, in all the programs of the Department of Energy. Equity in Energy also seeks to infuse and expand participation in the private energy sectors in our nation’s economy to ensure America’s energy independence.
On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, the Honorable James E. Campos, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, hosted the Equity In Energy Hispanic Stakeholder Discussion at the Department of Energy (DOE) headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is part of a series of meetings to gather feedback directly from leaders in the community, and increase open dialogue with Departmental elements.
Director Campos began the discussion with an overview of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, the Equity In Energy initiative, and the importance of energy diversity. Senior Advisor of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Emmanuel Caudillo shared plans for the Initiative to become a “one stop” source for opportunities and information on internships, like the Minority Educational Institution Student Partnership Program (MEISPP).
Presentations by Director Charles Smith of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Operations in the Office of Fossil Energy Kimberly Rasar, and Senior Advisor to the Office of Nuclear Energy Kelly Lefler described how their respective offices are working to increase the participation of underserved communities in the energy sector. Director Smith shared that DOE’s revised Small Business First Policy has helped the Agency move ahead of last year’s pace in every one of the four graded socio-economic categories, as it continues to advance engagement with a more diverse population of small business stakeholders. Deputy Assistant Secretary Rasar highlighted the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship, which is currently accepting applications, and is a paid fellowship provides students with educational opportunities to gain real-world, hands-on research experience with the Office of Fossil Energy. Senior Advisor Lefler encouraged attendees to explore work in decommissioning nuclear power plants. There is an increasing demand for these skills in the energy sector.
After the presentations, the conversation opened up for the stakeholders to describe challenges the energy sector faces and discuss possible solutions with DOE. Throughout the meeting, attendees networked with each other and DOE staff to continue dialogue in the future.