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 December 17, the Honorable James E. Campos, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) at the Department of Energy and Michelle Christian, Director of Rural Affairs at the Small Business Administration, co-hosted a discussion of the Equity in Energy initiative focusing on supplier diversity and workforce development with stakeholders in the Pennsylvania energy community.
Director Campos welcomed attendees and kicked off the discussion with an overview of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, the Equity In Energy initiative, and the importance of supplier diversity and workforce development. This was his second trip to Western Pennsylvania to talk about the energy sector and the role the DOE plays for the community.
Christy L. Jackiewicz, Deputy Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at the DOE, moderated a discussion on Equity in Energy and government opportunities within the DOE. Panelists included; Kyle Wiley, Senior Advisor to the Office of Technology Transitions; Charles Zelek, Senior Economist in the Office of Fossil Energy; Jennifer Rivers, Energy Technology Specialist in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and Dave Staudt, Director of Acquisition to the National Energy Technology Laboratory. They shared overviews of their respective offices and efforts taken to reach out to minority and disadvantaged businesses. According Earl McDowell, consultant to ED, everyone was "very excited about the opportunities presented by the energy industry and training for formerly incarcerated persons."
The day continued with a panel discussion moderated by Director Christian and featuring Richard Taylor, CEO Imbue Technology Solutions, Inc.; Steve Bulger, Administrator of Regions II and III at the SBA; and Clifford C. Wise, President of the General Trade Corporation. Panelists discussed supplier diversity as it pertains to western Pennsylvania’s minority and disadvantaged businesses. The US is in an era of energy abundance; this presents a wealth of opportunity to employers in the energy sector.
Throughout the day, attendees networked with each other and DOE staff to continue dialogue in the future. A huge thank you also goes to our panelists and moderators for contributing their time and expertise. Through events such as these, the DOE and the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity is able to gain insight into the needs of stakeholders across the country.