News Release


Missy Henriksen
Center for Energy Workforce Development


Lauri Dowling
National Utilities Diversity Council

Center for Energy Workforce Development and National Utilities Diversity Council Name Second Class for Campus Energy Network

Student Scholars Will Connect with Mentors from Energy Sector

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 11, 2021 — The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) and the National Utilities Diversity Council (NUDC) have announced the selection of 38 students from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona College of Engineering’s Maximizing Engineering Potential (MEP): Center for Gender, Diversity & Student Excellence into the Campus Energy Network (CEN). This new career exploration program, which is being managed in collaboration with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), connects high-achieving college students with diverse backgrounds with mentors from the energy sector.

Selected students, whose cumulative GPA is an impressive 3.50, will learn from Latino executives and public officials in the energy sector, including Pedro Pizarro, President & CEO, Edison International, and The Honorable Sadzi Oliva, Commissioner, Illinois Commerce Commission, among others.  The Network cohort is diverse, comprising 42% women and 55% students who are the first in their family to go to college.

“We are excited to work with these talented young men and women from Cal Poly Pomona through the College Energy Network,” said Missy Henriksen, Executive Director of CEWD. “The energy industry, which employs more than six million men and women, is eager to expand the diversity of its workforce and that objective can best be realized by ensuring students who may not be familiar with the incredible career opportunities that exist in this field are exposed to the myriad of professional pathways in this essential industry.”

“NUDC is honored to collaborate with CEWD and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, “said Laurie Dowling, Executive Director of NUDC.  “America’s minority serving institutions, like Cal Poly Pomona, are treasure troves of talented women and men who will lead the energy industry into the future.  Our hope is that the Network participants will learn more about the energy industry, gain knowledge in onboarding for maximum success in their first careers and share their innovative insights to help transform their mentors’ perspectives on work as well.”

“As the nation’s largest association dedicated to fostering Hispanic leadership in the STEM field, SHPE is excited to partner with CEWD and NUDC to raise awareness by providing successful professional mentors to support participating students through networking opportunities to help create a cutting-edge personal brand and offer significant advice to sharpen their professional edge,” said Dora Renaud, Senior Director of Academic Programs and Professional Development.  

The program is one of three such programs NUDC and CEWD are conducting virtually on college campuses this year, with hopes of scaling the college connections in the future. Information on energy careers can be found at

About the Center for Energy Workforce Development

The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) is a non-profit consortium of electric, natural gas and nuclear utilities and businesses and their associations—American Gas Association, Distribution Contractors Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and Nuclear Energy Institute – and labor, educators, and workforce systems working together to ensure a skilled, diverse talent pipeline to meet future energy needs.

About the National Utilities Diversity Council

The National Utilities Diversity Council educates, develops best practices and guides efforts that will promote diversity in the utilities and communications industries in the areas of governance, employment, procurement, language access/customer service, and philanthropy.

About the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) is a nonprofit organization serving and advancing Hispanics in STEM. With more than 13,000 student and professional members, SHPE’s mission is to change lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development. To accomplish this, SHPE provides a variety of programming, services, resources, and events, including hosting the largest Hispanic STEM convention in the nation.  For more information, visit