Justice and equity are at the forefront of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) work to advance clean energy and the industrial economy, in alignment with the Justice40 Initiative. DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity is leading the implementation of this initiative and promoting energy justice. Just last week, they released DOE’s first Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan, which outlines Departmental actions to sustain an inclusive and accessible work environment by strengthening recruitment, retention, and promotion, while removing inequitable barriers to advancement and development opportunities.
The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) is committed to advancing justice and equity and supporting all of DOE’s DEIA endeavors—in how we train, how we hire, and how we fund carbon management research, development. and demonstration projects.
Justice and Equity in FECM Training and Hiring Opportunities
FECM is invested in training up and employing an energy workforce that looks like America.
We have two ongoing initiatives dedicated to improving opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and strengthening a diverse pipeline of future STEM professionals:
- The Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) program is a 10-week summer research fellowship for undergraduate and graduate STEM students. Created in 1995, the program has provided hands-on research and development experience to more than 1,000 students across the country under the mentorship of some of the foremost experts working in energy.
- The Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions (HBCU-OMI) program (under which nine projects were recently selected to receive $2.6 million) invests in undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields through training and education grants, positioning students to usher in new ideas in technology development and become leaders in their communities.
FECM is also dedicated and passionate about hiring diverse talent. DOE’s recruitment of an additional 1,000 employees through the Clean Energy Corps means new opportunities to join our efforts to advance carbon management technologies and help reach President Biden’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. In the coming weeks we will post several new job openings for people who want to play a role in leading the clean energy transition. Keep an eye on our Jobs and Internships page for information on those positions. In the meantime, you can explore the page now for more information on our training opportunities and federal employment.
Justice and Equity in FECM-Funded Projects
FECM prioritizes engaging with environmental justice organizations and disadvantaged communities. It is essential that we ensure our carbon management projects not only support the Biden Administration’s climate goals, but also 1) protect against additional pollution, and 2) provide tangible economic, environmental, and other benefits to communities, workers, and others affected by these projects.
As of this year, we are requiring that FECM-funded projects plan for societal considerations and impacts. FECM is requiring projects to take action and track and report on outcomes in four areas:
- Community, Tribal, and Stakeholder Engagement
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA)
- Environmental Justice and the Justice40 Initiative
- Quality Jobs
FECM’s funding opportunity announcements will specify how these societal considerations and impacts should be addressed at local and regional levels, and several upcoming FECM funding opportunities under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will focus on catalyzing carbon management investments while prioritizing safety and environmental justice. You can learn more and download planning guides on our new Justice & Engagement resource page.