On July 18, EM participated in a White House webinar titled, “Understanding how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) will Improve Communities.” The webinar showcased various equitable opportunities related to DOE’s work with Minority Serving Institutions (MSI). Nicole Nelson-Jean, EM’s associate principal deputy assistant secretary for field operations, served as a panelist.
Other DOE participants included representatives from the offices of the Secretary, Economic Impact and Diversity, Science, Bioenergy Technologies, Advanced Manufacturing and Hydrogen Fuel Technology.
The White House’s webinar series of events have granted opportunities for the departments of Transportation, Labor, and Commerce, Office of Personnel Management, Economic Development Administration and DOE to provide overviews of how they plan to implement BIL provisions as a means of showcasing how MSIs may engage with communities.
Nelson-Jean gave an overview of EM MSIPP and its efforts to grow a well-trained, technically skilled and diverse workforce. She said the EM MSIPP initiative addresses EM's future workforce needs through partnering with academic and government entities and DOE contractors to mentor future minority scientists and engineers. The focus is on research, development and deployment of new technologies to address environmental cleanup challenges, Nelson-Jean added.
Funding for EM MSIPP increased from $6 million in fiscal year 2021 to $56 million in fiscal year 2022.
EM partnerships in the DOE complex are key to EM MSIPP’s success, Nelson-Jean said. Such collaborations with other Department program offices — including the offices of Science, Legacy Management and Economic Impact and Diversity — as well as the Savannah River Site and National Nuclear Security Administration leverage other programs’ efforts similar to EM MSIPP. For example, this is done through roundtable events to better understand what other programs are doing related to MSIs. EM also has ensured its field sites and DOE national laboratories align with EM MSIPP. Nelson-Jean said fact sheets, school visits and virtual meetings ensure further awareness of EM MSIPP.
The EM MSIPP 1st Annual Competitive Research Award Workshop will be held Aug. 9 and 10 in North Augusta, South Carolina. Nelson-Jean will be a keynote speaker.
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