On Oct. 29 during his keynote speech at the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) 2015 Diversity in STEM Conference, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a new program to help ‎tribal colleges prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and specifically in advanced manufacturing. Moniz announced that the National Nuclear Security Administration has awarded five tribal colleges $150,000 each to connect them to world class facilities and partnerships. 

“Diversity in ‪‎STEM is an imperative. We must do more to expand opportunity for underserved communities,” Moniz shared via Facebook. The grants will help prepare Native Americans both for advanced manufacturing careers and to pursue economic opportunities through design, manufacture, and marketing of high quality products.

The following colleges were selected for the grants:

  • Bay Mills Community College (MI)
  • Cankdeska Cikana Community College (ND)
  • Navajo Technical University (NM)
  • Salish Kootenai College (MT)
  • Turtle Mountain Community College (ND)

The awardees represent a pilot cohort of five institutions committed to developing new (or expanding existing) programs that prepare students to pursue careers in a range of technical positions associated with advanced manufacturing, including information technology, engineering, and design. 

The colleges’ advanced manufacturing facilities will provide laboratories for hands-on training in advanced manufacturing processes as well as model production facilities for manufacturing products that can be marketed regionally, nationally, and even internationally, thereby serving as engines for tribal economic opportunity. 

Through a summer internship program, the DOE Office of Indian Energy provides opportunities for Native college students to gain experience in energy project planning and development activities in the field and at DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories. Learn more about the DOE Office of Indian Energy’s summer internship program.