Urban Energy Jobs Program

A Joint Initiative of the Center for Energy Workforce Development and the National Urban League

There is a clear need to diversify the energy workforce. To lead, build, engineer, and drive the energy transition, we urgently need a stronger presence from underserved communities as the industry strives to be a complete and inspiring representation of the companies and communities we serve. This change will be delivered through intentional awareness, education, and opportunity. To meet this need, CEWD and the National Urban League have partnered to create an equitable workforce diversification engine dubbed, The Urban Energy Jobs Program.

Our goal is to make careers in energy as attractive, accessible, and widely regarded as careers in law, medicine, and tech are. Under this program, we match energy companies with Urban League affiliates in their area. The local Urban League recruits a diverse pool of individuals interested in energy careers by leveraging their relationships in the community and offers pre-apprenticeship-style training and the CEWD consortium of energy companies provides guidance on curriculum, mentorship, and ultimately for successful, qualified individuals, job placement.

The Urban Energy Jobs Program respects that every community has different demographics, challenges, nuances, and culture; accordingly, each program is regionally customized, though supported by the network of interconnectivity offered by engagement from NUL, CEWD, and the network of participants in the Urban Energy Jobs program The program started in Chicago, Houston, Louisville, New Orleans, and St, Louis through funding from a U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeships Build America grant, and has expanded to Birmingham and Rochester, thanks to private funding. CEWD and NUL are working to scale the Urban Energy Jobs Program to several dozen additional communities, bringing opportunity to individuals who have never considered or found accessible paths to energy careers.

To do so – to create opportunity, to provide on-ramps and in-roads to equitable pathways to clean energy, we seek partners interested in expanding these workforce partnerships across the country.

Contact Cornell Johnson to learn how you can make a difference for businesses, for the industry – and most especially, for people by supporting the Urban Energy Jobs program.